Food Recovery in K-12 Schools

Clark County School District is the largest school district in Nevada and the 5th largest school district in the country. School cafeterias in Clark County serve 1.3 million meals to students every week, with more than 200,000 kids receiving free or reduced lunches. CCSD averages 270,000 meals a day. Nearly all the schools serve breakfast and lunch; 60 schools also serve dinner.  In 2017, EPA Region 9 and Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) conducted a food waste audit of four Clark County School District (CCSD) elementary schools in Las Vegas to understand the types and quantities of food and packaging waste. The audit revealed that the breakfast garbage alone from four elementary schools had 675 pounds of unopened food, juice, and milk.

The purpose of this project is to assist public K-12 schools reduce the amount of food landfilled by identifying and implementing practices that reduce wasted food and help feed hungry people. This effort will be replicable and will contribute to reaching the national goal of reducing food loss and waste in the United States by 50 percent by 2030.  (Full Circle is the lead program developer and implementor under Prime Booz Allen Hamilton.)  A key deliverable is a series of in-depth interviews reaching staff from school districts, classrooms, food & nutrition services, local & state government, food banks, and waste management service providers.  Program staff will also develop a Food Recovery Strategic Implementation Plan.