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Last year, we launched the Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative, a group of more than 60 local organizations sharing the same goal: to cut central Ohio food waste in half by 2030. The members of COFWI, as we call it, worked together the past 12 months to develop an action plan, which they released in the spring. The action plan focuses on three areas: preventing food waste, rescuing edible food and redistributing it, and recycling food waste turning it into energy and as agricultural and other products such as compost. With these goals in mind, COFWI has begun to implement three of the 20 solutions presented in the plan:
Earlier this fall, SWACO’s food waste coordinator created and piloted classroom lesson plans and activities in 12 Central Ohio classrooms to test their effectiveness in getting students to think about food waste and steps they can take to reduce the amount they create. The school resources also include communication templates for administrators and cafeteria signage that promotes ‘Share Tables.’ SWACO is also creating guides to help parents tackle food waste too including a guide to packing a zero waste lunch. Learnings from the pilot are being evaluated and incorporated into the existing materials which will be available to all Franklin County School District in early 2020.
As COFWI was working on its action plan, SWACO conducted a composting feasibility study to determine if our community has the infrastructure to support a large-scale operation for composting food waste. We’ll be releasing the results of the feasibility study, kicking off the consumer education campaign and implementing the food waste reduction programs in schools over the next few months. You can keep up with these initiatives by following us on social media at @SWACOGreen and facebook.com/SWACO.ORG.