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Laptop Lunch Kits Distributed to Reduce Campus Lunch Waste

PROGRAM GOAL: To see if distributing waste-free lunch kits to families would reduce lunch waste on campus during the 2002 / 2003 academic year.

PROCEDURE: Thirty Laptop Lunch kits (www.laptoplunches.com) were distributed to thirty students in a single class. Families were encouraged to pack waste-free lunches as often as possible.

RESULTS: A follow-up survey was conducted between June 5 and June 16, 2003 to find out how families felt about using the lunch kits. Thirty participating families received the surveys. A total of thirteen were completed and returned.

SURVEY RESULTS:

1. Have you packed lunches for your child using the Laptop Lunch Box?     [ 12 ]  Yes    [ 1 ]  No

2.  If you have not used the Laptop Lunch Box, why not?  (Check all that apply)

            [ 0 ]  No Time

            [ 0 ]  Not sure how to use it

            [ 0 ]  Need information in Spanish

            [ 0 ]  Other

3. How many days per week do you pack a lunch for your child?

    [ 2 ] 1    [ 4 ] 2    [ 1 ] 3    [ 1 ] 4    [ 4 ] 5

4.  How many days per week do you use the Laptop Lunch Box ?

     [ 2 ] 1    [ 5 ] 2    [ 3 ] 3    [ 1 ] 4    [ 1 ] 5

4.  Have you used the Guide book is preparing lunches?    [ 7 ] Yes    [ 5 ]  No

5.  Do you find that by using the Laptop Lunch Box you save money?    [ 9 ] Yes    [ 3 ]  No

6.  If you were provided with a Laptop Lunch Box for all your children, would you use them?  [ 10 ] Yes    [ 2 ]  No

7.  What do you like about the Laptop Lunch Box? (Check all that apply)

            [ 9 ]  Easy to use

            [ 8 ]  Saves money

            [ 6 ]  Guide Book

            [ 6 ]  More nutritious lunches

            [ 7 ]  My child seems to like what I pack

            [ 5 ]  Able to use leftovers

            [ 7 ]  I feel like I get to decide what my child eats instead of pre-packaged single-serving items

            [ 2 ]  Other

8.   Does your child return all the containers and eating utensils home after school?    [ 12 ]  Yes    [ 0 ]  No

9.   Is there anything you would like to change about the Laptop Lunch Box?

  1. Need more room for blue ice
  2. Want covers for ALL containers
  3. Deeper so a drink can be added
  4. Bigger area for a drink

NOTE: The Laptop Lunch kits were distributed before the carrying case was available. The carrying case provides enough space for a drink and an ice pack. Carrying cases have since been provided to these families. Also, lunch packers who prefer that all of the containers have water-tight lids can use the Laptop Lunches 2.0 version with the Bento Buddies.

10.  Comments:

  1. Wish kids had access to a microwave & refrigerator
  2. Great idea
  3. It’s good for kids & it’s a healthy habit to take food from home
  4. You don’t necessarily save money on baggies, etc. because it has to be washed out everyday, which used soap, water, electricity.  Since we don’t run our dishwasher every day.
  5. She (child) likes to use it.  Even the least nutritious lunch that she packs is more nutritious than the lunch provided at school
  6. Love the assortment and materials.
  7. Nice idea.  Wish kids could use a microwave so kids could heat up food