ABINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A new year-round program at Abington Senior High School aims to fight food waste and help the surrounding community.
It all started with an observation.
Last spring, Mariam Freeman, an English teacher at Abington Senior High School, noticed that students were throwing away the fruit needed for their school meals.
“A lot of students just said they didn’t want them and didn’t know where else to put them,” Freeman explained.
The idea for Fruit Ninjas was born: a system for students to donate the fruit they didn’t want to eat to the Willow Grove Baptist Food Pantry.
“There’s a huge need for fresh produce and fresh fruit because everyone is always donating canned food,” Freeman said.
“What we do is really important to our local community,” Freeman added.
Freeman obtained the appropriate permits and consulted with the health department before donations began in September.
“It was okay because it was just unrefrigerated fruit items like you get in a supermarket,” Freeman said.
Freeman formed a club: the Fruit Ninjas.
The Fruit Ninjas focus on marketing the program. They design posters and ads, making sure the message is clear and understandable. They made a series of “I donated” stickers.
These measures are all to ensure visibility so that students are aware of this opportunity.
“It encourages students to give more and say, ‘Oh my god, I’m making a big impression by donating this little piece of fruit,'” said Fruit Ninjas President Tiffany Le.
“This is an ongoing service opportunity that you can just do whenever you want, however much or how little you want,” added club member Lily Devlin.
The Fruit Ninjas even analyze the placement of the collection boxes to find out where the donations are best.
But Freeman needed help collecting, and she contacted her colleague Cait Pringle, a teacher in the STRIVE program.
STRIVE is a transitional program for young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 with complex needs.
“Actually, we do the legwork every day. So my students go to the three cafeterias every day after lunch. We collect all donated products,” said Pringle.
Their work serves as vocational training. They also work on math skills while weighing and graphing their results.
The school aims to surpass £1,000 in donated fruit by winter break.
“I think it really teaches all of our students in this building that no matter how small, they can make a difference,” Pringle said.
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https://6abc.com/fruit-ninjas-abington-senior-high-school-be-kind-combatting-food-waste/12561991/ 6abc ‘Be Kind’: ‘Fruit Ninjas’ are combatting food waste at Abington Senior High School