Burbank Unified schools, with rapper Mr. Eco's help, announce a program to reduce food waste

The Burbank Unified School District will soon launch a program that’s designed to help reduce food waste in the community.

Walt Disney Elementary School held three assemblies Tuesday morning featuring public speaker Brett Edwards, who goes by Mr. Eco.

Donning a yellow shirt with his logo, green shorts and long green cape, Edwards talked and rapped to fourth- and fifth-grade students about not being a litterbug, conserving water and he introduced them to the new concept of a share table.

Principal Molly Hwang said a share table will be a place where students can put their sealed food packages they don’t want as well as uneaten fruit. Students who are still hungry during lunch will then be able to pick up one of those items.

“It can’t be the sandwich a student’s mom gave them or pizza that comes out of the cafeteria,” said Kathy Sessinghaus, the school district’s director of food services.

Edwards will be visiting and sharing the same message at 10 elementary schools in the district, and the share table program will launch districtwide on Monday, Sessinghaus said.

“Teaching the students about food waste is vital because of the growing population,” Edwards said before one of the assemblies. “We’re running out of space, and the methane that’s created from the food waste in landfills is contributing so much to climate change. Wasting food wastes everything.”

Fourth-grader Ellie Sykes and fifth-grader Lola King said they both learned about how wasting water impacts the environment and that doing nothing about the environment could lead to negative consequences down the road.

“Take a five-minute shower, [it] could save a turtle,” Ellie said.

Lola admitted that there have a been a few times when she didn’t finish eating all the food her mother had packed for her, such as pre-packed apples, and ended up throwing them away.

“Now, I learned that I could save it for after school,” Lola said, adding she is excited for the new share table program to start.

anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

Twitter: @acocarpio

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