Over the last month, extended curriculum students at Harvard Junior High School performed audits during lunch periods in the hope of improving food services and reducing overall food waste.
Under the guidance of teacher Amanda Thompson, students surveyed lunch periods and collected data on food waste in the junior high’s cafeteria. The students, who self-titled themselves “Fambassdors” (food ambassadors) found in their first audit that the school wasted 90 pounds of food during lunch. According to the GRACE Communications Foundation’s Water Calculator, this food equates to 39,000 gallons of water wasted. Over the course of a school year, the waste would equal nearly 7,000,000 gallons of water.
Students also met with Aramark Food Service Director Brittany Marsden to develop changes to reduce the waste: offering different culinary choices, ensuring students know what is available ahead of time, and making sure students know they are not required to take food they do not wish to eat.
Ultimately students are working to inform the school community about water waste so that students can make smarter lunch choices. Thanks to the students’ work, the junior high has reduced the average waste down to 33.5 pounds per day.
On Saturday, students will share their research and compete in Woodstock’s First Lego League Tournament held at Northwood Middle School.