School nutrition professionals may find that leftovers present a challenge regardless of efforts to plan for efficiency and prepare appealing meals. Recognizing the challenges, TDA has provided a list of food-waste-reduction strategies that maximize the value of school meal leftovers. Using these tips will enable school nutrition professionals to provide added nutrition for Texas while acting as good stewards of valuable resources.
What You Can Do to Help Prevent Wasted Food
This booklet released by USDA discusses ways to reduce, recover, and recycle food before it goes to waste. Get ideas for your school by reading tips for school nutrition professionals, teachers, parents, students, and school administrators.
Options for Dealing with Leftovers
Preparing enough school meals for their student population, while managing costs and food waste, requires constant diligence on the part of school nutrition professionals. To minimize food waste, schools may set up leftover sharing tables, sell leftovers as second meals and al a carte items, or donate food to eligible local food banks or charitable organizations as long as all state and local health and safety regulations are followed.
Options for Dealing With Food Waste
Even with thoughtful ordering, proper storage and good preparation practices, some food waste is unavoidable. When school food professionals cannot re-purpose or donate leftovers, they may consider recycling and composting instead of throwing out food. When schools recycle food waste they can build partnerships, teach children valuable lessons and improve fiscal responsibility.