Want Not, Waste Not
Our approach to managing food waste is to encourage our students to decline food they know they are not going to eat. We teach them to "take what you want but eat what you take" at our salad bars and "if you don't want me, don't take me" at our milk coolers. We are required to provide certain elements but we want students to know they are not required to take all of the elements we offer.
We also have share tables or bins at all of our schools encouraging students to deposit any unopened items or unpeeled fruit they are not going to consume for other students to take and enjoy.
Our final attempt to minimize waste is to "recover" items from the share tables/bins and distribute these items to the community through food pantries.