Suggested Activites

The following documents outline suggested activities to prevent or reduce food waste in K-12 school food service operations. Please note that these materials are provided for your information only. Most of these activities were developed as part of the original Green Lunchroom Challenge voluntary pledge program funded by US EPA Region 5. That program is no longer funded and you may not submit activity documentation to earn points and recognition. Activity documents archived from that program include a cover sheet indicating that information included regarding available points and submission instructions should be ignored. If, however, your school or district implements any of the activities listed below and would list to share its experiences and success stories with peers, you may email Joy Scrogum. Your story may be shared informally as a blog post on this page, on the main ISTC web site, or on social media as a means to foster networking and inspiration among peer institutions working on food waste issues.

Be sure to check the “Additional Resources” section of this web site for other information relative to the K-12 sector or food waste prevention and reduction in general.

To learn more about ISTC zero waste services, see

Establish Your Baseline

Note that the link to the Challenge Baseline Form within the following documents, which pointed to the original project web site, is broken. Please click here to access the Green Lunchroom Challenge Baseline Form.

Participate in US EPA Food Recovery Challenge

Click here to view a video providing an overview of participation in the US EPA Food Recovery Challenge.

Food Sourcing

Click here to view a video that summarized the food sourcing related activities which were part of the original Green Lunchroom Challenge project.

Menu Planning and Food Preparation

Food Presentation

Diverting Food for Human Consumption

Diverting Food for Animal Consumption

Diverting Food Waste to Fuel/Energy


Zero Waste Lunchrooms

Raise Awareness and Share Successes

Note: The “Case Study Template” referenced in several of the suggested activities below is currently available online here. The “Lesson Plan Template Form” is available here. (You must download the lesson plan template and open with Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software to be able to fill in the fields.)