Schools Trial Food Waste Reduction

Bungwahl Public School students are making their own lunches in a pilot program to cut food waste.

In addition, it helps families save money and have a positive impact on the environment.

Eli and Sofia helping to not waste food.

The MidCoast schools have teamed up with MidWaste, which is supported by MidCoast Council, the NSW Government’s Love Food Hate Waste program and BehaviourWorks Australia to explore effective food waste reduction measures in NSW schools through the Lunchbox Leftovers pilot program.

Every student wastes 3kg of food each year on average. In Australia each year, students throw away 3.5 million uneaten sandwiches, 3 million pieces of whole fruit and 1.3 million items of packaged foods.

The Lunchbox Leftovers program is being rolled out in 9 schools across the Mid North Coast during Term 3 trialling three innovative program implementations – Make Your Own Lunch, Take Leftovers Home and Play Before Eating.

Bungwahl and Lansdowne schools have chosen to take part in the Make Your Own Lunch intervention, educating and engaging year 3 to 6 students and families with information to reduce food thrown away, including recipe ideas, how to create a balanced lunchbox and tips for fussy eaters.

Bungwahl Primary teacher Emma Breese said their school was excited to participate in the program and looked forward to seeing a reduction in the amount of food left uneaten or thrown away by students and an increase in kids involvement in making their own lunches.

We know that when food is thrown away, all the valuable resources that went into producing, packaging, transporting and selling that food is also wasted,” Ms Breese said.

Lansdowne Principal Wendy Stanborough said yhe Lunchbox Leftovers program is a great opportunity for our school to trial an innovative sustainability action while also helping our school families to save money.

By cutting the amount of food wasted at school and at home, families could save up to $4000 a year.”

MidWaste Project Officer Wendy Grant said all families could learn how to reduce food waste at home by signing up for the free online Food Smart program at

Food Smart includes easy, step-by-step guides to help you reduce your food waste and keep more money in your pocket,” Ms Grant said.

This project is supported by the NSW Environment Protection Authority as part of the Waste Less Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.