Whether it’s moldy cheese, limp celery or those long lost leftovers in the back of the fridge, the fact is that most households waste food that could have been eaten. The average American family of four tosses out more than 25 percent of the food they purchase, adding up to more than $1,600 a year per household.
To help prevent edible food waste locally, King County partnered with Fall City Elementary School to pilot an outreach program called Food: Too Good to Waste. For the last five weeks, Fall City Elementary fourth graders and their families have measured and tracked the food they waste at home. King County provided them with new strategies each week to cut waste, including ways to make a better shopping list, store fruit and vegetables properly, and even pack a waste-free lunch.
The pilot has just concluded and the results show a 20 percent reduction in weekly food waste from the families that participated.
“I think the kids, parents and community benefited from participating in this program,” said Jennifer Curd, mother of one of the fourth grade students. “It helped raise our awareness of how much food we were really wasting and we found new ways to not only save food from the landfill but also save money on our grocery bill.”
The pilot project wrapped up Wednesday with a waste-free pizza party for the fourth graders.