• Dr. Herpy

What Happened to Those Yellow Food Waste Collection Bins in the Cafeteria?

Jenna Barrett and Dana Kapcio, members of the class of 2017, started the food preservation program in 2016. By Jenny Kapcio | Bomber Media

A program created in 2016 to help our community and our school is now benefiting neither.

Dana Kapcio and Jenna Barrett, two seniors from the class of 2017, noticed that there was a large waste of food in the cafeteria. Whether that was unopened packaged food or fruit, it was all being thrown away.

In 2016, the food preservation program was started. Bins were placed in the cafeteria where unopened food would be collected. The food was then taken to Bainbridge Food for Friends, a local food bank, where it would be donated to help feed people in need.

This program was sustained by the CEC program and Amanda Phipps, the adviser of CEC, for another year after it was created. However, the program was very hard to maintain because a lot of time was needed to sort food and find ways to store items like fruit.

“The program was a great program. Initially, students were responsive and were donating items into the bins daily.

However, as time went on, we saw less and less items being donated. Without having someone there to patrol the bins we started to get garbage thrown in and students were also stealing donated items over the lunch periods,” said Phipps.

In the end, the program had great intentions, but there were many factors that made the program difficult to sustain. Most importantly the program never caught the interest of the student body and without that interest, there was less donating and people not giving the program the respect it deserved.

Phipps says that in order for the program to be restored, many changes would need to be made to help the program run more efficiently.

“We would have to work with the cafeteria staff and the other teacher running cafe work this semester. I think we would need to rethink the system and find a way to inspire the student body to do a better job at donating items, while being respectful of the cause,” said Phipps.