Strategies to Reduce Food Waste in Schools & Child Nutrition Programs

Implementation Support
Best for
No Kid Hungry Partners
Nonprofit Sponsors
School Nutrition Staff

This resource highlights some of the most effective strategies to help reduce, recover and recycle food waste from school meals. Many of the strategies also apply to other child nutrition programs.

Overview

To fully receive the nutritional benefits of school meals, students must eat the foods served. Student consumption of school meals may be influenced by a variety of factors including the amount of time students have to eat, meal quality and the placement of recess in relation to the lunch period. A combination of strategies to address these factors plus other interventions like marketing healthy choices, providing nutrition education, and offering cooking and gardening programs for students may be more effective together in increasing student consumption and reducing food waste.

This resource highlights some of the most effective strategies like extending time for meals, using offer versus serve, engaging students, improving meal quality and setting up share tables.