Solution 3: Education

Why Solution 3?

The first step to enacting change on any level is education and awareness. Without communicating with Mainers about their food systems, there would be no way to get anyone passionate about this work. At Food Rescue MAINE, we know that education is extremely important. That is why we have given the most of our resources to expanding numerous forms of education for broad uses across Maine.

Consumer education is the third-most effective solution for food waste….“Households are the biggest source of food waste in the U.S., yet American consumers perceive themselves as wasting little, with nearly three-quarters reporting that they discard less food than the average American. Given this lack of awareness, education campaigns on food waste are critical. ” 



Solution 3 Pilots: 

Pilot 1: Food Rescue MAINE Website:

Project Goals:

  • To create a hub for all of our information and resources for Maine’s food system.


Our methodology while developing the website was very simple: to create content and review it.

  1. Food Rescue MAINE’s website was created in the spring of 2021.

  2. In its beginning stages, the website was simply a page explaining the basics of food recycling, and was linked to a QR code in preparation for our first annual summit in 2021. This page was made in hopes of having resources available for our audience to view as follow-up to the summit.

  3. Following the summit, we hoped that stakeholders would view the website and provide us with feedback- and that’s exactly what happened.

  4. After that vital feedback, we were able to take on another student intern to create the foundations of the website that you see today. 


Since then, student interns have worked on our website and transformed it into what you see now. These resources are not all created internally to our organization, but pull from many key stakeholders in the food system world- in an effort to bring expert resources to one place for Mainers to use. 

While we still rely on the amazing stakeholders that work with us to always improve this website, we now have access to an online dashboard that provides us with our website’s analytics, so we can keep up with what everyone thinks.

Screenshot of FRM Website Analytics

Pilot 1 Resources: 

  1. FRM Blog Posts

  2. FRM E-Newsletter

The website is a hub for so many resources, but here are two that you can’t find anywhere else. 

Pilot 2: Community Education

Project Goals:

  • To educate and engage Maine communities in the common goal of improving their community food systems

  • To prevent, recover, and recycle food waste


  1. In order to best create educational materials for a community, we must first understand what their goals are. To do this, a meeting is set up to discuss their goals and options via zoom or in-person.

  2. We share with the community what all of the possible options are. As you can see from the adjacent graph, here are all of the possible avenues for education that we can work with our communities on. 

  3. We decide on a course of action together and begin developing ideas. 

  4. Often, we begin by using the educational material templates that we already have, and the community will suggest how to best customize them to fit their needs

  5. We collaborate closely through every step of the education process until the community is satisfied with their efforts and have the tools to be self-sufficient. 

  6. Food Rescue MAINE gets valuable data to improve how we work with communities in the future.


As you can see from the adjacent graph, our four pilot communities have made amazing progress, and are dedicated to educating their residents through many modes. 

Chart explaining the work that all four pilot communities have done to educate residents
We would love every Maine town/city to use all of these educational components. The chart above shows all of the amazing work our pilot communities are already doing!

Pilot 2 Resources: 

  1. Community Upstart Guide

  2. Community Posters

  3. Community Education and Awareness Postings

  4. Informational Brochures

  5. Food Waste Reduction Tip Sheet

Click the images below to access these resources:

Pilot 2 Challenge Spotlights

By working in collaboration with partners from each of our pilot communities, we have been able to develop educational materials to teach Maine communities about food waste and food recycling. Click on each of the images below to see what we have learned from working with each of these amazing and dedicated communities.  

Picture of program lead, Susanne, two interns, and two Readfield community members at their Readfield launch
Readfield, Fayette, WaynePage under construction- COMING SOON!

Go to our solution 6 page to learn more about our pilot communities and to see all of the resources that are available for your city/town!

Click here!

Pilot 3: Youth Education

Food Rescue MAINE has collaborated with teachers across Maine both to create and compile educational material your young students. We currently have material available for preschool and ages k-5, and will soon be adding high school food system curriculum to our website as well. 

Project Goals:

  • To create fun and engaging elementary curriculum vetted by Maine teachers

  • To engage Maine’s youth in food system education, hopefully impacting their lives and the lives of their families and communities. 


  1. In order to bring this curriculum to k-5 programs in Maine, we first had to learn from school teachers about what they need

  2. We worked with Ecomaine to develop lesson plans, worksheets, and take-home materials for the classroom. 

  3. These materials were tested in the classroom and eventually added to a curriculum plan.

  4. The materials were eventually compiled by a student intern, along with other expert materials outside of our organization, such as a slideshow created by World Wildlife Foundation and several other examples

  5. we have reviewed and revised these materials with many educators and students across the state.

  6. Throughout this process, we have worked with amazing teachers like Anna Franceschetti, a garden teacher from the Gerald E. Talbot Community School in Portland. Anna has been working with a combination of her own vetted food system lessons, along with the special program curriculum that we created based on her ideas.

  7. This process of improving our curriculum for Maine student’s is ongoing, and we look forward to working with more schools in the future.


Anna Franceschetti and her garden classroom students collected 1,452 lbs of food waste in their first year of food waste collection.

With the help of Franceschetti and her students, we were able to finalize the first edition of three different elementary curriculums:

  1. Traditional In-Class Curriculum

  2. Special Program Curriculum 

  3. Cafeteria Guide

picture of a fifth grade student from the Gerald E. Talbot Community School in Portland, Maine. Student is weighing a bucket of food waste.
Fifth grade student weighing food waste collected from classrooms

Pilot 3 Resources: 

  1. Fully developed elementary curriculum for classroom, clubs and special programs, and the cafeteria

  2. Educational slideshows/videos

  3. Lesson Plans,

  4. Worksheets

  5. Take-home materials

  6. Posters

  7. Pre-K activities

  8. Pledges

  9. Coloring books and activities

  10. informational documentaries

Click the two images below to see all of the educational resources that we have to offer:

Want to Get in Touch with Us?

Want to get involved? Take a moment to fill out this quick form so that someone from the Food Rescue MAINE program can reach out to you.
  • Please select the box above that best applies to you so that we may better assist you in your food rescue goals!

“We sat together in a circle and listened to the fifth grade students amazing understanding of food waste- They could fully explain the steps of the food recovery hierarchy, and even how the decomposition process in composting works. The students have even created their own ‘garbage to garden-esque’ composting operation where they pick up food scraps from classrooms around the school and measure how much food they rescue from the trash each week. The day that I was there, they actually reached their 1,000 lb. benchmark.”

– Hannah Mathieu, Student Intern