Georgia nonprofit, Gwinnett County students working to eliminate food waste


LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – At Lovin Elementary in Lawrenceville, kids know the food they don’t eat can be used again.

There are places at the school, for food and drinks that kids don’t want so other kids can pick up items for free. There are buckets at the end of lunch tables for scraps that will be composted. And in class, some students are learning a new lesson in composting.

“I think it was great and I think it might change a couple of kids’ lives learning about this. It makes me feel good to learn about more worms and the lives of them and how I can give them a home,” said 9-year-old Ivy Wallace.

They’re getting their hands dirty with worms in soil. They’re learning new skills.

Compost Connectors is a program created by the Food Well Alliance and its partners. They teach kids to compost at schools in the metro Atlanta area. Lovin Elementary has been with the program since the beginning.

“Last year, our school, we were doing it one grade level at a time and we collected over 1,200 pounds of food scraps. This year we started, day 1, with all grade levels collecting food scraps and we are already up to over 1,300 pounds of food,” said Gerin Hennebaul, Lovin Elementary STEM content specialist.

It worked but there was so much waste they needed to come up with another plan. One of the solutions was to work with a nonprofit to donate scraps, which they do. The second was to give these kids a problem to solve and a way to solve it.

“We ramped up our regular composting to vermicomposting and decided to bring in worms, so they will be doing that in their classrooms,” said Hennebaul.

“When I was small, I used to think worms were just nothing and didn’t do anything to our environment but now that I learned today that they help our environment,” said Oscar Patricio.

The kids are growing veggies throughout the school for families in need, not to mention the lessons they’re learning in class. Teachers said the hope is that they see the world as a place where they feel empowered to change, in big ways and small.

“When you do things by yourself, you appreciate them. You say, ‘Oh my gosh, I did this by myself,’” said Chriselda Asamoah.


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