Food Recovery at Wellesley Middle School

Phyllis Theermann

The plan to launch the food recovery trial at the Middle School came from the Wellesley Reduce, Reuse, Recycle working group and the Wellesley Green Schools committee during a meeting on Feb 26th.  At that meeting, Matt Delaney, the Food Services Director of the Wellesley Schools for Whitson’s Culinary Group, recounted a food recovery program that was in place at Disney World when he was employed there.

Matt Delaney Food Services Manager, Wellesley Public School. Champion of Food Recover Program

Matt Delaney Food Services Manager, Wellesley Public School. Champion of Food Recover Program

Wellesley Middle School has implemented a system that allows them to collect unused food and bring it to a local food pantry. The program involves bagging and freezing excess food and redistributing it.

Matt Delaney is very interested in reducing or eliminating food waste wherever possible and therefore was willing to commit the time needed to gather leftovers from the service line at the end of each lunch service, put them in ziplock bags, and transfer them to their freezer for a Friday pickup.

A member of the Wellesley Green Schools Committee, Wendy Beck von Peccoz, volunteered to pick up the food at the end of each week and deliver it to the Wellesley Food Pantry. It is received by Cynthia Scott, the Director of the Food Pantry. The items delivered to the pantry typically include vegetables, entree meats, and prepared items such as calzones and pizza.

Any fresh items that cannot be frozen or kept until the Food Pantry opens on the following Tuesday, are offered to town departments such as, The Fire Department, the Trash and Recycling Dept. and the Parks and Highway department where the sandwiches, salads, and yogurt parfaits have been most welcome at the end of the day.

Wellesley High School plans to implement a similar system in the coming months in order to further reduce the town’s food waste while helping great causes.

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Phyllis Theermann
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