Eat Smart is an educational programme designed by BIND, engaging primary school pupils in the causes of and solutions to food waste. Helping them to understand the scale and impact of food waste and the importance of reducing it, Eat Smart gets pupils involved in reducing waste in their school, together with the teachers and kitchen staff, by carrying out a food waste audit across the whole site and involving them all in designing solutions to tackle the problem.
The four-step programme is designed to fit into a half-term. Throughout the programme we integrate key curriculum skills from Maths, English, Science and Technology:
- Initial food waste audit over the whole school site, conducted by pupils
- Food awareness week, educating on where food comes from and the importance of reducing food waste
- Bespoke action plan to reduce food waste, written by the pupils and staff
- Second food waste audit to measure the effectiveness of the interventions and highlight any remaining opportunities for waste reduction
Eat Smart was developed by BIND, based in Newcastle, and has already been delivered in 10 schools achieving an average food waste reduction of 30%. That’s equivalent to saving 6,000 meals – worth £13,000 – per school, per year! This was only possible thanks to the positive engagement of the pupils and all staff within the schools, including teachers and kitchen staff.
REfUSE and BIND have been awarded funding from Kavli Trust to deliver the programme with 11 schools before July 2024. We are so excited to be working in partnership to see more food waste saved, and thousands of children inspired to be the change-makers. Please fill out this application form if you are interested in running Eat Smart in your school.
Green fingers in grange Villa
Thanks to funding secured through the County Durham Community Foundation we have been able to run two activities in Grange Villa. The Grange Villa Growing Club is a club for children aged 8-14 to learn about the environment, food growing and preparing simple meals or produce. We meet at Pelton Grange Farm in Grange Villa where we grow fruit and vegetables in the raised beds and greenhouse, forage for fruits in the orchard, meadow and woodland and prepare food with the produce we have harvested. Over the summer we made mint cordial from the herb garden and in the autumn we juiced apples from the orchard and made blackberry and apple crumble from the blackberries growing wild in the woodlands. The aim of the club is to show young children and their families how easy it can be to produce nutritious food locally and at the same time learn about seasonal food, food waste and environmental issues, learn where their food comes from and try new things.
We also run fortnightly sessions at Pelton Youth Project‘s youth club in Grange Villa, using food collected from the REfUSE to do creative and fun activities with young people. We have made fruit smoothies with fruit past its ‘best before date’ and experimented with different flavours for roasting pumpkin seeds after a pumpkin carving session. The aim of the sessions is to show how we can turn ingredients that would normally end up as waste into tasty and nutritious dishes.
Get in touch with Oliver if you’re interested to hear more about this project, want to come along or could lend us a hand!