Mitchell Center launches Maine School Cafeteria Food Waste Study

The Mitchell Center launches its Maine School Cafeteria Food Waste Study pilot this week at four elementary schools in Orono, Buxton, Lisbon and Sebago.

According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, approximately $5 million of edible food is wasted every school day in the U.S. In many Maine schools, about three-quarters of the waste in school dumpsters is food. At the same time, Maine leads New England in food insecurity with “on average 1 in 4 children at risk for hunger,” according to the Maine Department of Education website.

The Maine School Cafeteria Food Waste Study will address these major issues with a series of student-directed food waste interventions which have been co-developed over the last few months with their Maine public school Nutrition Director partners.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to identify effective solutions for reducing food waste while improving student nutrition in Maine schools. By focusing specifically on elementary schools, we hope to teach these young students positive food waste behaviors that will continue through their middle and high school years. We also hope that these young influencers will bring those positive food waste behaviors into their homes,” says Susanne Lee, faculty fellow at the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions who is leading the study.

Read more at UMaine News