Let’s Start a Food Rescue/Recovery Program in the Lexington Public Schools!

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Let’s Start a Food Rescue/Recovery Program in the Lexington Public Schools!

This petition made change with 834 supporters!
Natalie Cohen started this petition to Lexington Health Department and

Problem

The Lexington Public Schools has made great strides by trying to eliminate the amount of food that gets dumped in the trash by contracting Black Earth Compost to compost the uneaten food from our schools’ kitchens/cafeterias.


However, much of this food doesn’t need to be composted. Much of this prepared and packaged food could be donated to the hungry. According to Feeding America, 652,760 people are struggling with hunger in Massachusetts, and of them 167,450 are children. Another study stated that in Middlesex county alone, there are 138,900 people who are food insecure.


There are 2 laws, the federal Emerson Good Samiritan Act and the Massachusetts Good Samiritan Law, that protect institutions from liability as long as the food is “apparently wholesome” and “apparently fit for grocery product” and “meets all quality and labeling standards imposed by the Federal, State, and local law and regulations... even if it not marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other conditions.”

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently promotes their Food Recovery Challenge to encourage individuals,businesses and institutions to reduce food waste which prioritizes the channels for food recovery/rescue.

Currently in Massachusetts, Andover, Cambridge, Needham and Wellesley public schools have all successfully established food rescue programs where either food is shared within the school or an organization comes to the schools and distributes the remaining food to groups that feed the hungry.


Let’s have Lexington join the bandwagon!

Solution
Each of the Lexington Public schools and Whitson’s Culinary Group can work with Foodlink in Arlington to collect food not served from the kitchens and the packaged food that the students do not eat in the cafeteria. Foodlink will distribute the unseated food to food pantries, soup kitchens, or shelters that feed those food insecure.

Both the Lexington Public Schools Green Teams and Whitson’s Culinary Group are totally in support of this! Meetings have occured with various groups to make sure if this happens it is done legally.

Personal story
As parents of children within the schools and also as parent volunteers helping the children recycle and compost in the cafeterias, we are very aware that so much food that is still good enough for others to eat is being thrown in compost.

Bridge Elementary weighed pre-packaged food that the students were not opening over a 2-week period in January 2019. On average, 23 pounds of pre-packaged food was collected daily!

We need to continue to compost, but let’s save some of the food that is still edible and serviceable to those who really need it. We even have students tell us they would rather give the food to others. Let’s serve an example to our children, the community and the world that we can help solve our environmental and hunger problem!

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This petition made change with 834 supporters!

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