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Eco-Focused Organizations to Employ Funds in Strategic Expansion of Food Waste Warriors Initiative in Georgia's Gwinnett County Schools

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - GeorgiaChron -- In 2018, Georgia's Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GC&B) first introduced the Food Waste Warriors Initiative to select Gwinnett County Schools through a Keep America Beautiful-Lowe's Community Improvement Grant. By 2020, GC&B partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to expand the food waste reduction initiative as a critical element of the nonprofit's Green & Healthy Schools Program. With the recent news that the WWF had been awarded an Environmental Protection Agency Recycling Education and Outreach Grant for $1,164,792, a portion of the proceeds will be devoted to expanding the food waste reduction project at participating Gwinnett County Public Schools. The remaining funds will fuel WWF projects in Baltimore, MD, Memphis, TN, and Nashville, TN.

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Announced on the EPA website on America Recycles Day and the second anniversary of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the EPA Recycling Education and Outreach Grant is designed to empower "Communities to Recycle and Prevent Food Waste through Evidence-Based Interventions, Policy Change, and Technology in Title 1 Schools." WWF's Food Waste Warriors initiative empowers teachers and administrators at K-12 schools through stipends, toolkits, and lesson plans to engage students and take action on the issue of food waste.

"I am so proud of the many ways Food Waste Warriors has augmented the Green & Healthy Schools program through our incredible partnership with the World Wildlife Fund," said Schelly Marlatt, Executive Director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. "It's a wonderful example of STEM education and environmental stewardship in action, and our local students get to live it out virtually every day. At participating Gwinnett County schools, students take food waste audits, track the data, create share tables in the cafeteria to minimize waste, collect food scraps, and deliver them to the Compost Connectors composting system. Once ready, the mineral-rich compost created from what would typically wind up in a local landfill is used to fertilize the schools' Plant It Forward community gardens that grow produce and feed pollinators. The funds from this grant will help us expand the program further at participating schools and bring more schools into the food waste reduction fold. An added benefit is that it will help us grow our circle of up-and-coming environmental stewards."

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In addition to the EPA Recycling Education and Outreach Grant, GC&B and WWF are proud to announce that they have extended their funding partnership into 2024.  To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, its programs, and upcoming events, visit www.GwinnettCB.org.

Source: Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful

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