Educator opportunity: Food Waste Warrior grants

Published on: 
14 Jun 2021
Alex Nichols-Vinueza

Learning Lab education partner World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) "Food Waste Warriors" program provides grants, stipends, toolkits and lesson plans to empower K–12 teachers and administrators. A new grant period is open during June and July, and schools are encouraged to apply for funds to engage their students and take action on the issue of food waste.

Teachers and students confront the problem of food waste firsthand at school, and considering the incredible demands already placed on teachers, the Food Waste Warriors program seeks to both compensate them and equip them with flexible and fully customizable resources to turn cafeterias into classrooms—helping students conduct food waste audits in their cafeterias, advocate on the issue of food waste and identify creative ways to reduce it.

WWF's Food Waste Warriors program is anchored in the idea that measurement is our most powerful intervention for preventing and reducing food waste in school cafeterias and classrooms. As the saying goes, what gets measured gets managed. The program creates a national database of food waste cafeteria audits and brings together schools from across the U.S. to share best practices on reducing food waste and developing waste-conscious communities.

How to apply

Two types of grants are available: (1) mini-grants for schools, school districts or nonprofits; and (2) large grants for school districts, nonprofits and for-profit organizations. Applications for both types of grants are due July 20.

All applicants in any U.S. state or territory are eligible to apply for this year's grant cycle, though applicants working with schools or districts located in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Washington, D.C., will be prioritized to support our current food waste policy objectives.


Apply for mini-grants online, and be prepared to demonstrate how you will

  • Conduct at least 3–5 student-led cafeteria waste audits and submit data to the Food Waste Warrior database.
  • Incorporate food waste education into the curriculum.
  • Identify ways to raise awareness of the issue of food waste across the school and larger community—with a focus on doing so in underserved communities.
  • Implement food waste interventions to reduce quantities of waste in schools and repurpose any food that is not eaten. These interventions could include (but are not limited to) research-backed school waste interventions.

Large grants

Review the RFP guidelines document for more information and instructions on how to apply.

Note: Applications will be prioritized that implement both waste audits and waste interventions in underserved communities (e.g., Title I and/or rural schools), though all schools are welcome and eligible to apply.

Learn more about the program and apply