School’s wasted food turns into ranch animal’s dinner

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Millions and millions of pounds of food are wasted each year around the country. Now, a group of local schools has teamed up with a Rio Rancho ranch to help combat the issue.

Everything from out-dated lettuce, bread and produce gets thrown away each day. It usually ends up in a landfill, but now thousands of pounds of that wasted food is making its way to the Galloping Grace Youth Ranch in Rio Rancho.

“They’re broken, they’re wilted, they can’t sell them, so we get them to give to the animals,” said Galloping Grace Youth Ranch CEO Max Wade.

The ranch is working with Albertsons, Roadrunner Foodbank and a group of Rio Rancho elementary schools.

“It’s really whatever they don’t eat coming off of their trays, so when they get up to the trash cans they will scrape it into one of our buckets that we pick up daily,” said Wade.

Once the buckets arrive at the ranch, workers wheel the goods to the animals’ cages. Then, it’s feeding time.

“If you think about it, it’s a fresh salad bar every day. Fruits and vegetables and they love it,” said Wade.

But it’s about more than feeding a few animals.

“Our country throws away 35 million tons of food every year,” said Wade. “What we are trying to do is counteract that.”

With every gobble and every bite, Wade says New Mexico becomes a little less wasteful because for the farm animals at his ranch one man’s scraps are another pig’s supper.

The ranch collects about 10,000 pounds of waste from the schools and stores every week. The meat from some of the animal’s ends up going to charity.

KRQE News 13 wanted to know why other school districts don’t do something similar. Albuquerque Public Schools said the leftovers from trays goes into the garbage while unused food goes to a group of local non-profits. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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