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Each year, in the school canteens, they are scraped into 2.5 billion crowns

48,000 tons of food a year, about 238 tons each day, will throw out children, pupils and students in Czech school canteens. Parents spend 2.5 billion crowns every year on discarded food. The Healthy School initiative therefore comes up with a challenge to reduce food waste in school canteens.

According to the staff of school canteens, 20 to 35 percent of prepared meals will be consumed as waste. "This amount corresponds to our findings in school canteens. In some dining rooms, it is less, with some disposable meals forming up to one third of all prepared meals, " says Tomáš Václavík, director of the Truly Healthy School program.

Last year, approximately 383 million meals (breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner) were delivered to school catering establishments. According to statistics from the Ministry of Education. The Healthy School initiative has calculated that approximately 136,000 tons of food is used per year to prepare these meals. If 20 to 35 percent of this amount ends up in the trash, then it is between 27,000 and 48,000 tonnes a year. We can imagine this quantity as 1,600 fully loaded Tatra trucks with a load capacity of 30 tons. If the trucks were to stand behind them, they would make a 5.6 kilometer long column. If we convert this quantity into a 500 gram serving, 24 million portions of food will be thrown out every year. Parents spend around 7.5 billion crowns every year for their children's school meals. This means that up to 2.5 billion crowns (35%) end up as waste.

Program A really healthy school

A really healthy school is a program of healthy and sustainable school meals and food education. It strives to make the children of the food weighing, to know their value, to enjoy them and to learn how it is created. "We call on all schools to engage in action I love food, do not waste and commit to reducing the amount of waste in school canteens. We have prepared a number of guidelines and educational methodologies for educators to educate pupils and students about the impact of food waste and on the possibilities of solutions, " adds Vaclavik.

All schools fulfilling the program A really healthy school offers children quality food and supports and develops healthy eating habits for students. Really healthy schools also allow pupils to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables in school gardens, learn cooking basics, and visit local farms. The program can involve both nursery, primary and secondary schools. They can try to get bronze, silver and gold medals to meet the criteria of the really healthy school program. Currently, 314 schools from all over the Czech Republic are involved, and 40 of them have met the Bronze Criteria, two primary and one kindergarten have met the silver criteria. The Association of Social Responsibility, the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic and the Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic gave the patronage of the "I Love Food, I Do not Want" challenge. All the information about the call, the instructions for participation and the teacher's instructional guides are available on the web.

Preventing and reducing food waste is one of the best ways to conserve natural resources and protect nature. By reducing the amount of food disposed of in school canteens, the school reduces its carbon footprint, reduces waste in landfills or incinerators, helps to conserve natural resources used to produce food, and educates children to respect for eating at the time hundreds of millions of people in the world each day hungry - not to mention reducing the cost of buying food that does not eat. And, of course, it reduces the cost of removing waste from the dining room.

Author: Blanka Štiková

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