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John Gregg Students Targeting Food Waste

John Gregg Elementary students have been doing their part to help the environment through recycling, and now fifth- and sixth-graders are setting their sights on eliminating food waste.

   Teacher Tally Paisuk said her pupils have been gathering unused, pre-packaged food and milk and storing them for use in afterschool and primary programs. Efforts began last month and the group has managed to make a small dent in the issue.

   “The fifth-and sixth-grade classes are doing ‘Be Responsible, Save Food” and there are six daily organizers who meet every day, go to all the grades and collect breakfast food. They pick up the items and organize it,” Paisuk said. “They have collected at least 10 cartons of milk a day.”

   The students enjoy helping the environment and being able to sustain the food supply. The group also works to recycle paper and plastic utensils and Paisuk said they were interested in doing more.

   “They recycle cardboard and wanted to add in food,” she said. “I had a few kids tell me the food was being thrown away and it was bothering them. I spoke to the fifth- and sixth-graders and they came up with this idea.”

   “After all the kids have lunch, we take the food they don’t use and put it on a cart or in the fridge,” said sixth-grader Gavin Berardinelli.

   Fifth-grader Olivia Davis added that the food and used for students who stay after school for Destination Imagination and other programs.

   “We were thinking about how there was so much milk and kids can have an extra one, so we can use that,” she continued. “We also go from the second- to sixth-grade classes and pick up food from breakfast.”

   “We’ve saved a lot more milk than food,” said sixth-grader Brant Boka. “We also have leftovers that won’t go to the landfill.”

   Sixth-grader Giuliana Wiley chimed in that items could also be taken to the primary unit upon teachers’ request.

  About 101 fifth-and sixth-graders help coordinate of the “Be Responsible, Save Food” initiative while the entire PreK-6 building takes part.