Improved Health and Wellness
November 16, 2022
In school cafeterias, FUHSD’s priorities have been reducing plastic and food waste. According to District Manager of Food Services Divya Puri, the school has made a few changes to achieve this goal, including switching from individual condiment packets to dispenser pumps, and creating “sharing tables” for students to place food they do not plan to eat.
Besides decreasing waste among students, Puri mentions schools have a systematic approach to dealing with leftovers. When students take food from the cafeteria, the school scans their IDs and counts the number of students, allowing the district to judge the amount of food that should be produced each day.
However, Puri states that some changes are relatively recent, and are not fully implemented at the time of the ED-GRS application.
“[Placing dispenser pumps] is still in progress because we still have individual [condiment] packets, so we’ve not taken them off completely,” Puri said. “As for compostable utensils and serving ware, we were trying to do that all last school year, but because of the supply chain issues arising from the pandemic, [the school was] not able to procure anything.”
Puri says that although they now have more access to compostable utensils, they are sometimes unavailable, and schools are forced to use plastic instead. She believes that applying to ED-GRS is a “great initiative” but wishes that there were “more resources to make [the changes] happen faster.”