An attempt to mitigate food waste

This year, snacks, as well as school lunches, have been provided to students for free. While this seems to be a welcome change, as seen by the long lines of students waiting to receive food each day, some problems have arisen.

In order to expedite the process of handing out so much food, students pick a main component of their lunch such as a salad, burrito, yogurt parfait, etc that then gets put into a box accompanied by a piece of fruit and a plastic water bottle, and students are sent on their way. The system set in place runs fairly smoothly, but the issues stem from the fact that not all students want the extra items given to them in the box.

Fruit thrown on the ground by student. (Olivia Theaker)
Oranges kicked and splattered around campus. (Olivia Theaker)

In recent months they’ve begun to throw perfectly edible items on the floor or directly into the trash can. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, cafeteria workers aren’t allowed to take back any food that students have touched to put back into circulation, so a large amount of food gets wasted each day.



After pondering solutions to prevent so much waste, admin has made an effort to put crates outside of the lunch lines asking students to “take what [they] want” and

“Take what you want” bins next to lunch line to share food amongst students instead of throwing it away. (Olivia Theaker )
“Leave what you don’t” bins next to lunch line. (Olivia Theaker )

“leave what [they] don’t”.







This may not solve all of the issues immediately, as trash cans still overflow with the boxes that hold the lunches, and AGHS doesn’t have a recycling system in place, however, it is a step in the right direction.

Students, in order to show your appreciation for the free food provided to you every day, please make smart choices when disposing of the things you won’t eat or drink and utilize the crates whenever possible.

These lunch boxes are quite large and fill up trash cans very quickly on campus. A smaller box and an option to recycle may be favored by students. (Olivia Theaker)


*If you’d like to be interviewed on any ideas you have to reduce waste on campus, send a message to aghseagles on Instagram or send an email to [email protected]