Santiago Food Waste


Larkin Flemming, Staff Writer

Santiago High School does an exemplary job of ensuring students receive proper school lunches. Each student is offered a free meal every day. These meals have been offered without a fee since 2021. Options that are often provided are burritos, tacos, cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, yogurt parfaits, and chicken sandwiches. Each entree is served with a side such as grapes, apples, carrots, fruit cups, etc.

While this system is very effective for all students, there is an extreme amount of food waste that comes along with this. Because each student is required to have a side, a large majority of students simply throw that option away, meaning tons of food is wasted every week at Santiago High School. Additionally, students are not allowed to just grab a side such as grapes or apples. If they want a side, they are required to receive an entree as well. Which also leads to a waste of entrees. I can assume that this is an issue at other schools in the area as well, as they follow the same lunch system.

The article,,to%20reach%20530%2C000%20tons%20annually. states that that most schools in California waste about 530,000 tons in one year!

According to the article, California created a law in which Californians can donate their leftover food scraps to compost collections. This law would be beneficial in reducing the amount of food that is wasted each day. Some other ways in which this extreme waste could be prevented is with free reusable containers where students could store food in, recycling leftover food donating food to the homeless, and allowing students to grab the food they want, instead of being forced to take food they won’t eat.

So, there are things we can do as a school to eliminate our food waste, and therefore help the environment be a cleaner and better place for all people.