Food to Flowers: school waste reduction assistance

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Food to Flowers Newsletter

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What is Food to Flowers?

Food to Flowers (F2F) helps public and private K-12 schools in Thurston County prevent waste, save money, and provide hands-on environmental learning opportunities to their students. Schools throw away a lot of stuff and most of it is food.

F2F staff partner with schools to reduce wasted food, eliminate disposables and set up recycling programs. There are 32 schools and more than 14,000 students participating in an F2F program in Thurston County. Check out below to see what these F2F schools are doing and to find out how your school can get involved.

Reducing lunchroom waste by almost 90%

girls sorting food waste F2F schools now compost and recycle more than 175 tons of organics and recyclables each school year from lunchrooms and kitchens, which is about 90% of what they used to throw away. On average, F2F schools are saving 15-20% on their total garbage and recycling collection costs. The F2F program helps schools design recycling stations and train student volunteers to monitor them. We provide collection containers, signs, and other program supplies.

Replacing spork kits with durable flatware

F2F schools have eliminated more than 2.2 million spork kits and straws from the waste stream each school year. The F2F program provides schools with technical assistance and supplies to help them make the shift from disposables to durables. Supplies include durable flatware, and napkin and condiment dispensers.

girl getting milk from dispenser

Reducing milk carton and milk waste

Twelve F2F schools now serve most of their milk using milk dispensers and durable cups. Making this change has reduced milk waste by more than 10,000 gallons and eliminated more than 500,000 milk cartons from the trash each year. The F2F program can loan milk dispensers and durable cups to schools that want to participate. Check out milk dispensers in action here.

Rescuing prepared, but unserved school food for the Food Bank

Twenty-four F2F schools are now setting aside prepared, but unserved food to donate to the Food Bank. This food is then packaged into ready-to-eat meals for families in our community. The F2F program can provide schools with the assistance and supplies needed to join this program. Learn more here!

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