Original post from The Green Team News –
Are you interested in making sure that wasted food from your school cafeteria does not end up in the trash? THE GREEN TEAM has resources to help your school implement a program to donate uneaten prepared or packaged food. The following information can help you start or expand a food donation program:
- Most categories of food can be donated. Massachusetts law provides protection from liability for the donation of food that is ‘apparently wholesome’ without visible quality issues, as well as for food that is past date, so long as that food was handled in accordance with state food safety regulations. For more information about Liability Protection, see the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic fact sheet.
- There are many organizations in Massachusetts that accept and distribute food for donation. Schools can work with local food rescue organization such as Food For Free, Fair Foods, or Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. Another option is to start a direct relationship with a local food pantry or food bank. If you are having trouble locating organizations in your area, contact THE GREEN TEAM at [email protected] for assistance.
- Involving students in your food donation program is a great way to educate them about food security issues and the importance of reducing wasted food. Form food recovery teams made up of students that help educate their peers on which food items can be donated and which can be composted. These student teams can also help with donation collection and drop-off.
- Share tables are a great way to reduce the amount of wasted food and encourage the consumption of food served in the cafeteria. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education describes how to implement a share table program to safely share uneaten packaged food and whole fruits in the cafeteria. The State of Vermont also has a tip sheet on this topic.