Sher­brooke stu­dents tackle waste­ful habits

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - By Gor­don Lam­bie

Sher­brooke’s Com­mu­nity eco­nomic devel­op­ment cor­po­ra­tion, the CDEC de Sher­brooke, un­veiled the fifth of its “Frigo Free Go” anti-waste re­frig­er­a­tors on Thurs­day af­ter­noon at the Ecole In­ter­na­tionale du Phare. Although this is the third of the re­frig­er­a­tors to be set up in an ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion, Ka­role Fo­rand, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the CDEC, pointed out that it is the first to be es­tab­lished based on an ed­u­ca­tional project fo­cused on chang­ing the habits of stu­dents with re­gard to food waste.

The new­est “Freego” owes its ex­is­tence to a project run in the school cafe­te­ria at Du Phare at the start of the month of Fe­bru­ary called the “Pèsegâchis” or waste scale. Over a pe­riod of one week stu­dent left­overs were kept, sorted, and weighed af­ter ev­ery lunch hour to de­ter­mine what types of food were go­ing to the great­est waste. By go­ing through this process, the stu­dent com­mit­tee over­see­ing the project was able to de­ter­mine the finer de­tails of what was work­ing and what wasn’t in the school cafe­te­ria.

The re­sults, re­vealed on as a part of the launch of the new fridge, re­vealed that the 500 stu­dents us­ing the school cafe­te­ria were throw­ing away the equiv­a­lent of 70 to­ma­toes, 14 bowls of rice, 14 gra­nola bars, four serv­ings of meat and a baguette on a daily ba­sis.

Based on th­ese re­sults, a com­mit­tee was formed within the school to find so­lu­tions to the waste is­sue and two so­lu­tions were pro­posed. The first was the in­stal­la­tion of a left­overs re­frig­er­a­tor and the sec­ond, a rec­om­men­da­tion of Se­condary One stu­dent Fanny Faou­si­a­tou Jen­nifer Sawadogo, was to have the cafe­te­ria of­fer stu­dents two dif­fer­ent sizes of meal ev­ery day so as to ac­com­mo­date dif­fer­ent ap­petites.

“I wanted a project made for stu­dents, by stu­dents,” ex­plained the school’s Prin­ci­pal, Pa­trick Levasseur. Levasseur was the one who first made con­tact with the Ka­role Fo­rand, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the CDEC de Sher­brooke, pre­sent­ing a cer­tifi­cate of recog­ni­tion to Se­condary One stu­dent Fanny Faou­si­a­tou Jen­nifer Sawadogo for her win­ning idea to have the cafe­te­ria of­fer stu­dents two dif­fer­ent sizes of meal to help fight food waste. CDEC to con­nect with the “Frigo Free Go” project in a search for an ex­pe­ri­ence-based learn­ing project, although he pointed out that the ac­tions taken from that point on were all stu­dent-driven.

Sondès Al­lal, so­cioe­co­nomic re­vi­tal­iza­tion agent with the CDEC de Sher­brooke, praised the ini­tia­tive taken by the school, point­ing out that in one of Sher­brooke’s high­est-pop­u­la­tion and most dis­ad­van­taged neigh­bour­hood, the project takes steps to foster learn­ing in a way that stands to make a life­long, pos­i­tive im­pact.

The Ecole In­ter­na­tionale du Phare is a part of the Com­mis­sion Sco­laire de Sher­brooke, the city’s french school board. It has a pop­u­la­tion of 850 drawn from four dif­fer­ent neigh­bour­hoods in the city’s As­cot district. Ac­cord­ing to Al­lal, 15 per cent of the school’s pop­u­la­tion is made up of peo­ple who have im­mi­grated to Canada.

GOR­DON LAM­BIE

Project part­ners and stu­dents of the school stand­ing with the new anti-waste re­frig­er­a­tor in the school cafe­te­ria.

The Ecole du Phare Band played the crowd through the halls of the school to lead the way to the new "Frigo Free go Phare"

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