New BIC Protocol Hopes to Reduce Food Waste


In 2014, Los Angeles Unified School District’s Food Services Director, David Binkle reported that approximately $100,000 worth of food a day that is thrown away throughout the district.  Manual Arts High School, which serves about 1,500 students, also contributes to the food waste.

With the District’s Breakfast in the Classroom Program (BIC), students receive a one bread item, a piece of fruit or juice and milk every morning in their first or second period class. Much of the food is often thrown away.

Many students appreciate the breakfast but do not consistently take the meal. “I eat it every once-in-a-while, but not that much,” said senior James Knight. “The coffee cake, french toast and the waffles are pretty good, but the other meals are not that great.”                     

Cafeteria workers are concerned that students throw away their meals on a daily basis. “Once the students receive their meals they should eat it all because that’s the purpose,” said cafeteria manager Susan Chavez. In order to address the waste, the cafeteria team is working on introducing a new policy in early November. According to Chavez, the new policy will require all participating students to take a bread item, a juice or a fruit, but they can now decline the whole fruit and milk. They hope that this will reduce some of the waste on campus.milk

Many students think this new policy may help while others are skeptical.“I think it’s a good thing because the students are not forced to get all the food they are not going to eat,” said junior Aaliyah Arroyo. Many students appreciate the food, but solving the milk problem does not address the issue of quality.

“I feel bad because I think we should be grateful,” said freshman Mirna Toxtle. She believes that the quality of the food needs to be better if the school wants students to start taking the food. “The district should provide something that is nutritious and has good flavor, but that is healthy.”

The modification in the policy proves that the cafeteria team and administration are taking steps in the right direction to address the food waste problem.