How can we educate school kids and parents about Food Waste Recovery through the Farm2School program?

Food waste affects the society and the family. Reports show that an average family waste about $1,500 worth of food every year, money that could be resting in your account to do so many nice things. One of the best ways to prevent food wastage is through the farm2school program, which is a program set up for schools to purchase food from farms and consume directly. Farm to school program is effective because it is based on the principles of education, procurement, and setting up school gardens. So, how can it be used to teach parents and kids about food waste recovery?

Food Contains Nutrients That Support Growth

Food contains the essential nutrients that we need to grow strong, healthy, and happy. Every nation, state, and regions have their own food security challenges, and it is very important to make kids and parents realize why waste has to be discouraged. Educating kids about all nutritional value derived from farm produce will make them better appreciate them. Unlike packaged food, kids will have a firsthand experience with fruits, vegetables, and other items brought in by the farming community.

Kids Take Part in Farming or Gardening

The highlight of most farm2school programs is the part where children are taken to the farm to learn about how food is planted, nurtured, and harvested. Educating them about the long process will surely make the kids appreciate the value of food and make up their mind to waste less. Parents may also participate in this program, so they can have the experience with the kids and inculcate it into their values at home. By showing the kids the lengthy process it takes to make food, they will grow into adults with a responsibility to always try and prevent wastage.

Promoting Healthy Eating Education

The farm2school program also involve classroom education that teaches kids about sustainable agriculture, growing cycle, ability to recognize seasonality and local produce etc. The classroom sessions is an amazing opportunity to make the kids understand why they need to avoid food wastage. This can be done by telling them the negative effects food wastage is having on our world and future consequences if we don’t take action now. The classroom is also an opportunity to teach kids about healthy eating, which is the primary purpose of feeding in the first place.

Community Responsibility

Kids and parents also have to be educated that food waste recovery is a community responsibility. This is also something that is encouraged by the farm2school program, to help parents and kids know how food waste is a problem that affects the community they live in. The program is also an opportunity to build community engagement that will benefits parents, kids, school administrators, teachers, and farmers.

Food waste harms the community and everyone in it. It is the responsibility of school administrators, parents, and other community leaders to find ways to help educate everyone on why they should not waste food. The farm2school programs can help bring the community together and achieve great things.


Why food recovery awareness is important for kids?

Food recovery awareness

Food recovery is the practice of preventing surplus foodstuffs from being dumped in the trash. It provides a variety of social, economic, and environmental benefits.  The highest and best type of food recovery involves collecting wholesome but unused or unsalable food for distribution to those in need.  Additional food recovery efforts aim to reduce waste further and decrease resource burden by converting excess food for use in animal feed, composting, and biofuel production.  Engaging in food recovery is a straightforward and uplifting way to respond to a variety of challenging problems.

Food recovery is the opposite of food wastage. Food waste has many economic and environmental impacts. With many people experiencing food insecurity, this waste can be reduced when surplus food is donated to those in need rather than thrown to rot in landfills. There are many ways to help this problem, and it’s a matter of effort and learning to fix it.

‘Wonky’ Produce:

More than 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown in America never make it off the farm because they aren’t perfect enough or ‘wonky’ for grocery store standards. This results in billions of pounds of wasted produce every year. However, these produce are just as nutritious and delicious but looks a little different. With so many delicious fruits and vegetables going to waste, something had to be done. By eating the so-called ‘wonky’ foods, you’re helping build a more sustainable and effective food system. You’re helping fight food waste. You’re ensuring farmers are rewarded for their full harvest with a less wasted land, fossil fuels, and water. You’re improving access to healthy food. You’re creating fulfilling careers for employees. With every bite into a misshapen apple or crooked carrot, you’re helping shape our world for the better.

Conventional ways of food recovery:

There are many ways of recovering food. The four conventional methods of recovering food include the following:

  • Field Gleaning: The collection of crops from farmers’ fields that have already been mechanically harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.
  • Perishable Food Rescue or Salvage: The collection of perishable produce from wholesale and retail sources.
  • Food Rescue: The selection of prepared foods from the food service industry.
  • Nonperishable Food Collection: The collection of processed foods with long shelf lives.

Why we should educate our kids on food recovery?

Apart from disposing foods which are regarded as ‘wonky’ from farms, it is, however, important to let your kids be aware of the consequences of wasting food and the advantages of preventing food wastage. Our kids tend to waste food when they notice food surplus in the house or perhaps when they are being overfed. Strict decisions should make to restrict our kids from wasting foods. Now, we’re not saying to let your kids go hungry. But let’s face it, sometimes they want things from the supermarket or at a food establishment that they don’t need but just want to eat. Kids may have a hard time understanding what it takes to earn and pay for food, which can result in taking it for granted. Setting up rules where kids need to use their allowance or job earnings to pay for meals can help them realize the cost of wasting something so essential. There are several people on the streets of big towns and cities who don’t have the opportunity to obtain three square meals. Donating the food remnants or leftovers to these poor people will be highly appreciable. Particularly in the situation where kids come from a less privileged home where the parents earn little, it is, however, essential to caution the way in which they waste food.

If they are too young to serve themselves, serve young children small portions of food at meal and snack time. They have little tummies, and if you heap too much onto their plates, some of it is likely to go to waste.

Allow older children to serve themselves. Encourage them to take small portions then go back for more if they’re still hungry. Kids will learn how to gauge their appetites and are less likely to have plate waste because they decided themselves how much to serve up.

If your child declares they are full before finishing a reasonable amount of their meal, save the leftovers. “Instead of having them snack on something less than wholesome an hour or two later, they can finish their meal, reducing waste and increasing the likelihood of a well-rounded diet.

Rather than encouraging disposing foods in trash cans, you could pick up a responsibility of distributing the excess foods to the less privileged and help the needy.