CROSSMAGLEN Public School are proving what a difference a simple change of routine, such as when students eat lunch, can have on waste reduction.
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The students have been swapping the lunch break timetable and now play before they eat as part of a new pilot program that aims to cut food waste, help families save money, and have a positive impact on the environment.
MidWaste, the NSW Government’s Love Food Hate Waste program and Behaviour Works Australia have teamed up with schools, such as Crossmaglen, to explore effective food waste reduction through the Lunchbox Leftovers pilot program.
The Lunchbox Leftovers program is being rolled out in 9 schools across the Mid North Coast and is trialling three innovative program implementations – Make Your Own Lunch, Take Leftovers Home and Play Before Eating.
Crossmaglen has chosen to take part in the Play Before Eating implementation.
Children often aren’t hungry or are keen to play when the lunch bell rings.
Changing the timetable so students play first then eat before class aims to increase the amount of food eaten and reduce waste.
School Principal Renee Stokes-Marshall said Crossmaglen was pleased to participate in the food waste reduction trial and looked forward to seeing a reduction in the amount of food left uneaten or thrown away by students.
Students are also participating in a beeswax wraps making workshop as a fun, interactive component of the program.
“We know that when food is thrown away, all the valuable resources that went into producing, packaging, transporting and selling that food is also wasted,” Renee said.
“The Lunchbox Leftovers program is a great opportunity for our school to trial an innovative sustainability action while also helping our school families to save money.
By cutting the amount of food wasted at school and at home, families could save up to $4000 a year.”
This project is supported by the NSW Environment Protection Authority as part of the Waste Less Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.
By Sandra MOON