Compostable school lunch plates attract attention in Maine

Huhtamaki School Lunch PlateThe Waterville molded fiber facility attracts plenty of attention as one of the area’s largest employers, but recently they garnered even more thanks to the rollout of their new compostable, rounded school lunch plates.


Kevin Concannon, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary for food and nutrition services, and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree visited the facility to take an up-close look at the school lunch plates that are now in production for the Urban School Food Alliance.


The Urban School Food Alliance, made up of school districts from Miami-Dade, Dallas, Orlando,  

New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, according to their website, was created in 2012 to combine purchasing power and coordinate menu creation while working together to improve quality and incorporate sound environmental practices.


 “There’s a lot of excitement in the school food world about this, because we not only want children to eat healthy but we want to demonstrate and reinforce sustainable practices,” Concannon said in a telephone interview with the Bangor Daily News.


The story received coverage, across the state, from The Morning Sentinel in the Waterville area, the Portland Press Herald, Maine Public Broadcasting and local television stations.


“We were pleased to continue to hear how favorably the new school lunch tray is being received by the Urban Alliance and many other school districts,” Waterville Plant Manager Ray McMullin said. “Strong demand for our molded fiber products is helping our facility grow and we are seeing the benefits. Despite all this, we continue to work toward streamlining and simplifying our product offering to improve productivity and ultimately become even more competitive.”