The Town of Wellesley is working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to spread the word about food recovery (both food waste diversion and food rescue) and share best practices that Wellesley has developed through collaborations with the EPA and among many departments and organizations across town. Bates Elementary School is a participant in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) and WasteWise programs and the Town of Wellesley is an FRC Endorser. Several of Wellesley's public schools promote single-stream recycling, the diversion of food waste from landfills and the rescue of edible food for distribution to people who are food insecure. For its food recovery work, Wellesley has won a Secretary's Award for Energy and Environmental Education from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and an Environmental Merit Award from the EPA.
Environmental Merit Awards
On May 10, 2018, representatives from the EPA, Wellesley Public Schools, and WasteWise Wellesley met with executives from Whitsons Culinary Group to share best practices, showcase Wellesley's programs and learn about Whitsons' efforts to reduce food waste.
Whitsons' Visit to Wellesley
On October 24, 2018, Wellesley hosted 40 representatives from 70 schools in neighboring communities for a Food Waste and Food Rescue Workshop. The Workshop focused on food waste diversion and food rescue in schools - why these types of food recovery are important, what they involve and how institutions can implement food waste diversion and food rescue initiatives. Participants included food service providers, health department staff, sustainability group members, grassroots organizations, as well as school teachers and parents. Participants heard from the Cambridge-based, non-profit Food For Free and from Wellesley's 3R Working Group, Sustainable Energy Committee and Food Services Department. Participants also had an opportunity to talk with the head of Wellesley's Health Department. Click on the links below to view the Workshop presentation and video:
For background information, check out this Bates Cafeteria Waste Assessment Report, EPA's webinar on Sustainable Materials Management (the webinar outlines the Bates School Cafeteria Waste Assessment process), and Standard Operating Procedures for Wellesley's School-based Food Rescue Program.