ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - It's dinner time at Smiley Acres and the pigs are going hog wild. But the animals are doing more than just pigging out.
They're helping students learn a lesson about the importance of recycling.
"You heard when I brought their food and told them their dinner was here,” she said. ”They oink and get pretty excited about their dinner."
In the past, any food that wasn't eaten at St Pascal's Baylon Catholic School in St. Paul would end up in the trash.
But when Laurie Jennrich took over as principal at the beginning of the school year, she started using the leftovers from lunch to feed a pair of piglets on her hobby farm.
"I think it's a life lesson," she said. "I think we go through life and we have to be resourceful. And I think we have to learn to put to good use the things we don't use."
Instead of dumping their uneaten food in the garbage, students sort it out and fill up a special bucket.
Then Jennrich takes it home to her pigs, but they can be as picky as her students.
"They don't like oranges," she said. "So on the days we have oranges slices, the kids have to put that in the trash. The pigs will pick them out and push them under the fence."
On the days there's no school, the pigs chow down on hog chow or cracked corn.
But instead of farm-to-table, table-to-farm works just as well.
"The pigs need food and what better place to get it than a school lunchroom," fifth-grader Aurdy Ryther said.