Options for Food Donation
Approximately 80 billion pounds of food waste is created each year in the United States and most of it is not recovered. That means each person in the United States throws away over 250 pounds of food each year. There are missed opportunities to recover this food by improving management efficiency which can in turn reduce operating costs, feed those in need, recover food as a valuable resource, reduce the amount of methane generated as a greenhouse gas in the landfills, and create jobs in the process.
In 2011, three industries joined forces with the goal of reducing the amount of food waste ending up in U.S. landfills. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (food and beverage companies), the Food Marketing Institute (representing food retailers), and the National Restaurant Association (representing the food service industry) formed together the Food Waste Reduction Alliance
(FWRA). The goals of the FWRA are as follows:
- Reduce the amount of food waste generated.
- Increase the amount of nutritious food safely donated to the needy.
- Recycle unavoidable food waste so as to divert it from U.S. landfills.
The FWRA recently published a best practices and emerging solutions toolkit
regarding the management of food waste. It covers all aspects from doing the waste audit to characterizing the food waste stream, donation and how to overcome the barriers, to composting unavoidable food waste as well as energy recovery.