Feature Series: Reducing and Managing School Cafeteria Food Waste

tray waste
This content series explores food waste in school cafeterias; specifically, reducing food waste and analyzing  it to measure consumption. 

Reduce Food Waste 


School Food Waste Prevention Techniques: Tips to Develop a Fun and Collaborative Action Plan

The USDA has recently released a guide called What You Can Do to Prevent Wasted Food to enforce food waste prevention, specifically in schools… READ MORE 

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Schools Reduce Food Waste through Improved Front and Back of the House Techniques

The US Food Waste Challenge encourages everyone, including K-12 schools, to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste. Waste can happen at any point in the school food service flow process… READ MORE 

trash can Feeding Hungry Tummies: Lunch Hour Strategies to Curb Food Waste

The 2010 federal school nutrition standards have helped educate many of our students about new and healthy foods.  A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health… READ MORE

recycleDecreasing Waste in Schools: Food Recycling Options

About 30% of food in the US food supply is wasted each year! That’s 133 billion pounds of food – a problem when considering hunger, limited financial resources, and environmental concerns… READ MORE

banana What’s in Your Garbage? A First Look At Long-term Impact of NSLP Regulations and How Much Food Students Throw Away

In 2012, the first set of new school lunch guidelines were implemented as part of the USDA’s initiative to improve the nutritional quality of school lunches.Proponents of the policy claim… READ MORE 

Use Food Waste to Measure Consumption 

fruit wasteTray Waste Part I: Determine the Impact of Lunchroom Changes by Measuring Tray Waste

Making healthy changes to the school lunchroom is a no-brainer, but how do you know if those changes are really making an impact? Schools participating in USDA school meal programs… READ MORE

clipboardTray Waste Part II: 5 Simple Steps to Efficiently Measure Tray Waste

Measuring tray waste can give insights into what foods kids are eating and what foods are being thrown away. In order for the healthy foods to give students nutritional benefits… READ MORE


graphTray Waste Part III: Effectively Present Your Data

The data that you collected can tell you the percentage of food being wasted before and after you implemented a change in your cafeteria. It will also tell you… READ MORE

Food Waste Webinars & Videos

video iconSmarter Lunchrooms Tray Waste Video Playlist 

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News You Can Use: Steps to Generating Statistics for Positive School Meal PR 

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School Cafeteria Tray Waste and Potential Solutions