How Can SHC Reduce Their Food Waste?


Capen Ades

Lunch from SHC Dining Hall, April 2021.

This article is part of a series written by this year’s civics students for their Civic Action Project, in which students address and propose solutions for issues that impact our community.

The American population is almost a fourth of China’s population, but it is the third-largest producer of food waste out of all countries. Food waste is also the third-largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions, which means that we must do our part in reducing food waste to mitigate the effects of global warming. I am advocating for reducing SHC’s food waste production by providing a process of ordering ahead. Ordering lunches ahead of time could allow our kitchen staff to only buy the necessary ingredients for future lunches and plan their meals accordingly. If students knew that there were enough meals ahead of time, it could reduce the lunch lines and stress surrounding lunches.

Since our school already takes advantage of online platforms, creating a survey specifying which days students will eat from the cafeteria seems very appropriate. A forum where students and parents select the meals they will be eating, or at least what days they will be eating lunch from school, could drastically reduce the amount of excess food. While there are many options of where to donate food waste, this solution could perhaps stop that issue from even happening, and lessen the stress around lunchtime for staff and students.

Giving this form ahead of time could reduce the amount of food being wasted each day, and could be even more incentivized if students prepaid for the lunches ahead of time. This creates an obligation for students to get that lunch on that specific day because they have already paid. Only purchasing a certain amount of ingredients for teachers and students can do our part in reducing the food waste that SHC produces, as well as reducing the effort our kitchen puts into creating meals that are not eaten.