An LAPN Stop Food Waste Challenge for Secondary Schools

Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Mayo County Council and Roscommon County Council have developed a specific programme/module aimed at secondary school students to engage them on the issue of food waste and also challenge them to take actions in their home/school to prevent food waste.

The four local authorities are piloting the programme in a minimum of 12 secondary schools across the four local authority areas with each local authority working individually with three to four schools in their area. The aim is to work with small student groups in selected schools with an aim of working with a total of 100 students in each local authority area.

As the project is based on developing a programme, with feedback, best practices can be established and this will support the further development of a useful and replicable resource for secondary schools across Ireland. The local authorities intend to work with various school groups depending what works best for the schools– these could include home economics classes, CSPE or Transition year groups.

The challenge takes the form of an educational programme in schools by the Environment Awareness Officer involving four individual visits to the school over the course of a number of weeks. It involves education on a number of themes surrounding the topic of food waste including a focus on the journey of food from farm to fork, the ethical issues surrounding food wastage and the cost of food waste. Such themes will engage young people, which may vary from those that would engage their parents and teachers.

The students have to carry out challenges in school and/or at home to encourage action on food waste.

Other potential elements to the programme include food waste surveys, ‘mystery ingredient cook offs’ based on food rescue packages and the making of a short video clip of the work in the schools.

As well as development of a series of Powerpoint presentations the four local authorities will also develop a resource pack to support the presentations and also as a tool for the students to work from to complete challenges. The pack will include some promotional stop food merchandise that will act as tools to bring the messages into student’s homes. The aim is to develop branding for the pack such as a ‘schools stop food waste challenge logo’.