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Some students in Franklin County are learning about food waste and ways they can reduce it, thanks to a grant from SWACO and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
In October 2018, SWACO was one of nine recipients across the U.S. to receive a grant from WWF to pilot its Food Waste Warrior curriculum in kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms. SWACO is working in partnership with Food Rescue US, and the Kroger Co. Foundation to pilot the curriculum at four Columbus City Schools. This opportunity was pursued as part of the Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative that was launched late last year.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that approximately one-third of all food is wasted across the supply chain and while research has shown that the quantity of food wasted by children is less than the rest of the U.S. population, there are many ways schools can reduce food waste and teach students about the impact it has on the environment and in their community.
WWF’s Food Waste Warrior program aims to reduce food waste in schools, increase awareness about the problem of food waste, collect accurate data on food waste reduction and diversion efforts, and align the program’s curriculum with existing state educational standards.
The pilot curriculum takes a prevention-first approach to managing food loss and waste. It also addresses recovering and donating safe, excess food to those in need and advocates for diversion of food from landfills through composting, vermicomposting, anaerobic digestion and other nutrient recycling and recovery efforts.
Piloting these efforts with our partners will contribute to new resources and programs that will be offered to schools throughout Franklin County to help reduce, rescue, and recycle food waste. In addition to the WWF grant, SWACO provided a Community Waste Reduction Grant to CCS to help further implement food waste reduction activities through the year.