The result is often good food thrown away, and kids blaming First Lady Michelle Obama on Twitter with the hashtag "#ThanksMichelleObama."
This massive waste is repeated in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, but some elementary schools have found a creative solution.
Instead of tossing the food into a landfill, the wasted food is taken to the Galloping Grace Youth Ranch where it is fed to farm animals.
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“It’s really whatever they don’t eat coming off of their trays, so when they get up to the trash cans they will scrape it into one of our designated buckets that we pick up on a daily basis," Galloping Grace Youth Ranch CEO Max Wade told KRQE News 13.
“And if you think about it, it’s a fresh salad bar every day. Fruits and vegetables and they love it,” Wade added.
The ranch also works with local grocery stores and food bank to collect
thousands of pounds of wasted food.
KCTV reported last year that American school kids waste a staggering $3.8 million worth of food every year. Most of the food being wasted by students is fruits and vegetables.