01 June 2016

     

A new “Food Share” program has resulted from a partnership between the Bremerton School District, the State of Washington and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under the program, student volunteers will gather unopened, undamaged fruit, beverages and snacks that would ordinarily be headed to the landfill. The collected food items will be stored in a refrigerator in the school until the Salvation Army picks up the food. The Salvation Army will then distribute the food to food banks in the community so it can make its way to those individuals and families most in need. The program is expected to divert 32,000 lbs. of perfectly edible, nutritious food from the landfill every year, saving water, energy and landfill space.

Currently, in school cafeterias across the country, children receiving federally subsidized meals must be provided a mixture of healthy foods. In the past, any food which wasn't eaten was thrown away by the students. Under the Bremerton School District’s Food Share program, the food will now be put into Food Share containers, stored in the refrigerator, and then transferred one to two times a week via the Salvation Army to Bremerton food banks. Although the program was only initiated in April, the District is collecting approximately 100 lbs of food per week, across its eight schools, resulting in 800 lbs 32,000 lbs per year of food that goes back to feed people instead of to landfills.

In addition to feeding hungry people in the community and preventing food waste and all the associated environmental impacts, the Bremerton School District’s Food Share program saves the District money by avoiding garbage collection and landfilling costs. The program also teaches the students they can have an impact on the community and the environment.

For more about the EPA’s food recovery programs & related work, click HERE.