Note: Posts before 2020 reflect EarthGen’s former name, Washington Green Schools.
The Washington School Food Share (SFS) program started with a student in Bellevue who peered into her cafeteria waste bins and was alarmed at the amount of good food being thrown away each day in her school – untouched food like apples, yogurt, and milk cartons. The student’s concern caught the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 who recognized an opportunity to do good for both the environment (keeping food out of landfills) and human health (providing nutritious food to people who need it).
After launching programs in Bellevue and Bremerton, EPA Region 10 wanted to pilot the SFS program with students attending urban schools. Thanks to the EPA’s work with multiple partners including Washington Green Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Public Utilities, White Center Food Bank, and many more local organizations, the SFS program was piloted in 4 schools in West Seattle this past year.
After finishing lunch, students at Roxhill Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Denny Middle School, and Chief Sealth High School placed uneaten, accepted items on the “Food Share Table” to be collected weekly by food bank volunteers. Over the course of the school year, these students donated an incredible 8,011 lbs of food total to people in their community who struggle to access healthy food!
Last month, Washington Green Schools presented 170 Seattle Public Schools kitchen managers with the results of the pilot program. With the help of Nutrition Services, SFS program partners aim to expand the pilot to 10 schools in West Seattle.