ERIC Number: ED399623
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
School Lunch Program: Cafeteria Managers' Views on Food Wasted by Students Report to Chairman, Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities, House of Representatives.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Resources, Community, and Economic Development Div.
In fiscal year 1995, about 26 million students in about 94,000 schools nationwide were served lunches each day through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). In response to concerns raised about the amount of food thrown away by students (called plate waste), the General Accounting Office (GAO) surveyed a random sample of cafeteria managers in the public schools. Responses were received from cafeteria managers in about 80 percent of the 81,911 public schools that participated in the NSLP during the 1993-94 school year. Cafeteria managers varied in the extent to which they perceived plate waste as a problem in their school. Although the majority perceived plate waste as little or no problem, almost one in four reported that it was at least a moderate problem. Managers in elementary schools were more likely to perceive waste as a problem than managers of middle or high schools. Cafeteria managers strongly agreed on some of the reasons for and ways to reduce plate waste. For example, 78 percent cited students' attention being on recess, free time, or socializing rather than on eating. Almost 80 percent believed that allowing students to select only what they want to eat would reduce plate waste. Most managers reported satisfaction with the federal commodities they received for use in the lunch program. However, about 10 percent reported that they would prefer not to receive at least half of the different types of commodities provided. Appendices contain a list of estimates with sampling errors over 5 percent, methodological notes, survey results, and a list of contributors. A total of 18 figures and 3 tables are included. (LMI)
Descriptors: Cost Effectiveness, Dining Facilities, Educational Economics, Efficiency, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Programs, Lunch Programs, Public Schools, Resource Allocation
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 10884-6015 (first copy free; $2 each additional copy).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Resources, Community, and Economic Development Div.