Tell the General Assembly: Save School Food from Going to Waste
Food waste is a significant problem for the environment and for food access. Approximately a quarter of the overall food supply, both residential and institutional, is wasted: either buried in methane-emitting landfills or burned in pollution-spewing incinerators. In September 2015, The U.S. set a national goal to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030. However, in Maryland almost a million tons of food waste is generated each year with only 15.5% of these scraps being diverted. Wasted food is a wasted opportunity in our schools, especially when 1 in 7 Maryland children faces hunger.
Schools have started to act: check out the Lunch out of Landfills program in Frederick County the Waste Warriors in Montgomery County! But schools across Maryland need support from the state to start these programs and bring them to scale to get usable food into the hands of people who need it, and food waste into the compost.
HB150/SB124 will create a grant program to support schools in reducing their food waste. Funds through the program could be used for infrastructure improvements, education and training in saving usable food, contracts with local composting companies, construction of on-site composting systems, and more. This will provide support to schools where staff, students, and families want to act to reduce food waste, get usable food into the hands of people who need it, and develop composting infrastructure - a key component of Maryland's fight against climate change.
Please tell your elected officials to support HB150/SB124 and save school food from going to waste.