Food Share Table

Empowering Students to Reduce Food Waste in our Schools

T Clay Wood Elimentry School

Food waste and food insecurity are issues here in our community.  40% of our food is wasted annually while 1 in 7 go hungry.  A majority of our students receive free or reduced lunches, and many rely on Breakfast Before the Bell each morning as well.  Yet, nearly 50% of what ends up in our schools’ dumpsters is food waste.  Some of that is unrecoverable (food scrapings, partially consumed, opened containers, etc.), but a large portion could be redirected to feed those who are in need.

The USDA National School Lunch Program research suggests that schools waste $1.2 billion in edible foods given to students each year.   The solution is creating a process for collecting (allowable) food items before they are discarded into the trash – aka Food Share Tables.

Following a model being created by Nancy Deming and implemented in the Oakland, CA school district, we have developed a Food Share Table program for our schools that is USDA and VHD compliant and follows guidelines created by Prince William County Schools Food Services.

How Your School can make a difference

School Food Share Tables create

  • Internal Redistribution – Backpack Program / Food Pantry / SACC
  • External Redistribution – Prince William Food Rescue ->organizations feeding people in need
  • Reduction of harmful Greenhouse Gas Emissions – as produce decomposes in a landfill it creates methane gas, which is 21 times more toxic than CO2

In November 13, 2019, PWCS Support Services was approved by Regulation 456-1 guidelines for its Food Donation Program to include Local School Responsibilities, Volunteer Organization Responsibilities, Local Food Bank Responsibilities, and School Food Services Staff Responsibilities. 

After a trial program with a local school, the program is ready for expansion, currently to Prince William County Schools, (and private schools who can skip step 1), other counties coming soon, Contact Us for more information.

Video provided by StopWaste, a public agency responsible for reducing waste in Alameda County, CA.

How to get your School involved

Step 1:  Download and sign the last page of PWCS-R456 form and email it to (we will send a copy to Food Services).

Step 2:  Purchase Supplies ($180 on Amazon)

(Note:  Food Services will provide ice for the cooler each morning)

Step 3:  Communicate with cafeteria staff, teachers, food services, and custodial staff

Step 4:  Call us at 703-441-8606 x261 to build your profile and determine a start date

Step 5:  Teachers show one or more videos to students the morning of your start date

Have Questions?

If you have questions or want to talk to someone about how your school can become part of the program. Please complete the following form and someone will get in touch with you.