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'Fab Food' Waste less, Save more Primary School Programme

During 2016 and 2017 we are developing ‘Fab Food’ - a programme of activities for primary schools in partnership with Sainsbury’s as part of their Waste less, Save more initiative.

You can learn more about the Sainsbury's Wast less, Save more project

The aim of Fab Food is to support schools in a pledge to reduce food waste in school dining rooms, staff rooms and classrooms.

We have been trialling a five-step process in primary schools.

Step 1

Initial food waste audit in schools to understand how much food is being wasted, what types of food are the most often wasted, and to work out why that is.

Step 2

Action plan based on the feedback from the initial audit, that is, focusing on any particular needs within that school.

Step 3

Store tour - a tour of Sainsbury’s to demonstrate what is being done to tackle food waste in store and show pupils how food can be packaged to make it stay fresher for longer.

Step 4

Interventions - change school’s practices and deliver sessions about food focusing on outcomes and actions from the audit and action plan.

Step 5

Food waste audit – finding out if the interventions have helped cut food waste and if so, by how much.

The action plan for each school reflects the outcomes of the audit and can be varied to suit the school, for example in some schools we found that free school fruit and other free food meant that in some cases more was wasted. Actions like sharing fruit with older children and allowing pupils to say how much or little they want of everything on the menu (rather than standard portion sizes) have helped saved waste in some schools but were not applicable in others.

In order to see how the outcomes varied between different sized schools, we worked out the average food waste per week per person in each school so that data could be compared.

As part of the process we invited Magic Tim to create a Waste less, Save more Magic Show which used fun and magic tricks to press home key messages – like not putting food in the bin.

Parents, pupils and teachers alike said that Tim’s show was a resounding success in making the food waste messages clear and memorable and pupils are still walking about it.

In terms of reducing food waste the programme has been running at nine primary schools in the Swadlincote area and results to date vary between 7% and 37% food waste reduction based on the interventions - sessions and fun activities- developed as part of the project.

Sharing the results, methods, resources and ideas are a key part of the process and we will be adding documents to this page as soon as they are available.

For further information please email: and put ‘Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more: Fab Food’ in the title of your email, or tel: 01283 535039.

You can also contact us via the Swadlincote Waste less Save more Facebook page

Or the Waste less Save more Facebook group