School Boards support Our Food Future, encourage food-smart habits with Waste-Free Lunch Day

Guelph, Ont., April 18, 2019—On Wednesday, April 24, all schools across the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) and Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) will participate in Waste-Free Lunch Day. The event is being held just two days after Earth Day in celebration of the environment and in support of Our Food Future, Guelph-Wellington’s vision to become Canada’s first food smart community.

The UGDSB and WCDSB have a standing commitment to reduce their environmental impact and minimize waste, and to encourage students to become informed, engaged and empowered citizens. Participation in the Our Food Future Waste-Free Lunch Day is an extension of that commitment.

“At the Upper Grand District School Board, we’ve been working hard to implement more sustainable processes at all levels, so our goals are in line with those of the Our Food Future project. We’re looking forward to educating our students on how to be food smart through Waste-Free Lunch Day,” said Karen Acton, UGDSB’s Environmental Sustainability Lead.

“The Wellington Catholic District School Board is excited to participate in the Guelph-Wellington Our Food Future project through Waste-Free Lunch Day. We know that teaching our students to be mindful of their waste output at an early age will set them up with positive habits in the future,” said Yvonne Runstedler, WCDSB’s Curriculum Coordinator with responsibilities in Environmental Education.

One in six families in Guelph-Wellington is food insecure. Our Food Future emphasizes the need to support the local food economy, which will help strengthen overall food access in the community. There are also sustainability benefits, as reducing food waste also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions caused by decomposing food in landfills.

To prepare for Waste-Free Lunch Day, families are encouraged to have conversations about how to reduce food waste at home and school. Preparing snacks, repurposing leftovers and planning meals in advance are just some ways to avoid “convenience” purchases of pre-packaged items, encourage healthier eating and reduce grocery bills. Both school boards will be providing in-school educational supports on going “waste-free” as well as information for parents/guardians in support of Guelph-Wellington’s food-smart community vision.

Our Food Future is at the heart of Guelph-Wellington’s Smart Cities application to win $10 million. Together, the city and county are working to help more people access healthy food, reduce food waste, reduce our impact on the environment and create more local food companies and jobs. For more information, visit

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