Dear Commons Community,
Earlier this year, six urban school districts announced a partnership, the Urban School Food Alliance, to coordinate menus to improve purchasing power from food providers so that costs are kept low. The aim of the partnership is to serve the same lunch menus across the six school districts, which together represent 2.9 million daily lunches served a day. The districts in the Alliance are: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and Orange County Public Schools in Orlando. As reported in the New York Times:
“This show of solidarity is unprecedented,” said Los Angeles Unified School District Food Services Director David Binkle. “It demonstrates that all the school districts in the alliance can work together to implement the same programs while serving nutritious meals to our students.”
A new initiative of the Alliance is to bid for eco-friendly lunch plates that can be collected and turned into compost.
“With any uneaten food, the plates, made from sugar cane, can be thrown away and turned into a product prized by gardeners and farmers everywhere: compost. If all goes as planned, compostable plates will replace plastic foam lunch trays by September for more than 2.6 million others nationwide.
That would be some 271 million plates a year.
“I want our money and resources for food going into children, not in garbage going to the landfill,” said Penny Parham, the Miami school district’s administrative director of food and nutrition.
Compostable plates are but the first initiative on the environmental checklist of the Alliance to create new markets for sustainable food and lunchroom supplies.”
This sounds like a great idea that can be a win-win for everybody and the environment.