Girl Scout Zara shares with us her “Going Go” story.
Did you know that forty percent of food produced in America is wasted? When I first discovered this statistic, I was appalled, but then I became inspired to pursue a solution to reduce food waste in my community. With mass amounts of food wasted in elementary schools, I decided to complete my Girl Scout Gold Award project on food waste and finding a sustainable solution to this prevalent issue.
My first step was to conduct research and gather statistics on food waste. I also talked to experts in the field to gain additional insight on the subject. With this information, I developed a detailed plan and timeline for my project.
The basis of my project was to design a color booklet with worksheets, crosswords, and hands-on activities to educate 3rd and 4th graders about food waste. By using the resources I created, and the knowledge I gained through my exploration of the topic, I spent 6 days teaching children at a local elementary school about the impact food waste has on the world and what they can do to help. In an effort to ensure that my program had a measurable impact on children, I developed lesson plans and studied the amount of food that students wasted over the course of a couple of weeks. I collected pictures and portion data on the food wasted per child before and during the implementation of the program which helped me to statistically prove that the program had a significant impact on the children.
Throughout the six days, we saw a large decrease in the amount of food children wasted at lunch. Following the completion of the program, I presented these findings to local teachers, principals and the Child Nutrition Team for Pitt County. With their support, as well as help from the Health Science Academy, the project will be conducted at South Greenville Elementary School for summers to come. Due to my project’s impact, I hope to be able to expand the project to other local elementary schools in my county as well.
Through the completion of my Girl Scout Gold Award, I discovered that I can effectively lead groups of people, even those who are very young, into recognizing a global issue such as food waste and taking action to combat it. I realize that the time I spent on the completion of my project cannot come close to solving food waste in the world. However, I hope that my work has helped spark a conversation and to make a difference in the community where I live. My hope is that these conversations will continue to create awareness and accountability along with transforming actions into real-world impact. My passion to reduce food waste is stronger than ever, and I invite you all to join this conversation so that we can turn the vision of a waste-less world into a reality.
How awesome! Thanks for sharing, Zara! To join in sharing your Girl Scout story, visit our story submissions page!