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New Educational Videos Present School Food Share Program

August 19, 2019

Approximately 40 percent of edible food in the U.S. ends up in landfills, never reaching a plate, despite the fact that one out of five residents (2/3 are children and seniors) faces food insecurity in Alameda County. The issue extends to schools, where an estimated $5 million worth of food is lost every day in schools nation-wide. Fortunately, schools can play an influential role in helping to solve this problem.

StopWaste supports students and staff to ensure that edible food isn’t wasted through an innovative food share and donation program, which allows students to share uneaten sealed food or unbitten whole fruit from their school meal in the cafeteria by establishing food share tables, then donating surplus food to feed people in need. Setting up food waste prevention programs has already shown great results in Alameda County schools. One elementary school saved an estimated 12,000 food items during the school year by using their food share table. A high school rescued and donated 4,000 surplus food items from the back of the kitchen in just one year.

As students and teachers head back to school this month, StopWaste is releasing a new five-part series of educational videos that raise awareness around the issue of wasted food at school and the role that food share tables can play. They also serve as a how-to resource for best practices for teachers, custodians, and student Green Teams interested in setting up a food share table and food donation program at school. 

In one video, high school students in Fremont take viewers on a journey from their school cafeteria, to a transfer station where they peer over the landfill pit, bring surplus food to a local food bank, discussing the issue of wasted food and how their school is addressing it through its food share table and donation program. In another video, elementary school students share their ideas on the impact wasted food has on the environment, and how their school food share program is making a difference. 

Links to the videos on our YouTube channel are below:

  1. Understanding Food Share Tables (High School)
  2. Animated Food Share Table Guide for School Cafeterias 
  3. Food Share Table Guide for Elementary Schools
  4. Food Share Table Training Guide for Schools (full)
  5. Food Share Tables: Helping Schools Save Food (short)

Contact Cassie Bartholomew,, if interested in video files for sharing at school or events, or visit to learn more.

This video series was produced in partnership with Alameda County Department of Environmental Health, Cal Recycle, Oakland Unified School District, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, and Fremont Unified School District.