Pa. district looks for ways to discourage healthy food waste

Packaged apple slices seem to be a successful solution.

Oct. 23—Students in the Nazareth (Pa.) Area School District are having a hard time swallowing healthier lunch choices, and school administrators are looking for ways to stop the waste of food.

The problem of students throwing fruits such as apples and oranges and vegetables, including broccoli and Brussels sprouts, into the garbage was brought to the school board's attention by district food director Sharon Ryba. She said the administration "is looking at ways to correct that."

Schools Supt. Dennis Riker told the board that starting this school year, new federal guidelines require more fruits and vegetables in school lunches. He said students are buying those healthier lunches because they're cheaper than paying for certain lunch items separately. However, the students are discarding the fruits and vegetables, Riker said.

After the meeting, Riker said that so far, administrators have come up with only one idea to stop students from tossing the fruit portion of their lunches -- packaged apple slices. "We've found more students will take [the packaged slices] with them, instead of throwing them away," Riker noted.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

FSD Resources