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News Releases from HeadquartersLand and Emergency Management (OLEM)

EPA Administrator Visits Miriams Kitchen to Announce New Faith and Food Program

Contact Information: 
Melissa Harrison (harrison.melissa@epa.gov)
202-564-8421, 202-697-0208

EPA Administrator Visits Miriam's Kitchen to Announce New Faith & Food Program
EPA Food Steward's Initiative Helps Faith Groups Reduce Wasted Food

Washington - Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy joined Miriam's Kitchen and Western Presbyterian Church to announce EPA's new Food Steward's initiative, a pledge and toolkit for faith and community groups to reduce wasted food. While at Miriam's, Administrator McCarthy joined Executive Chef, Ciji Wagner in cooking a roasted pumpkin salad made with diverted wasted food. Following the cooking demonstration, she honored Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service by serving breakfast to the public.

"Faith communities exemplify caring for the well-being of all people and are leaders in being responsible stewards of our resources for current and future generations," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Reducing, donating, and composting excess food is a triple win that protects the environment, cares for the global human family, and saves organizations and Americans money."

Faith organizations who pledge to become an EPA Food Steward will receive a toolkit of tips and resources on how they can reduce wasted food. This toolkit and pledge contains simple to moderate level tips geared specifically to faith and community organizations. For example, how to organize a kitchen to eat older food first and sample dishes that use up extra food so it stays out of the landfill.

Food waste is the number one material sent to landfills and incinerators - more than plastic and metal combined. Decomposing food in landfills emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that causes climate change.

The average American family of four loses $1,600 per year by wasting food. Much of this discarded food is actually safe and wholesome food that could be used to feed people who do not have a regular source of food.

This initiative is part of a broader agency effort to meet the new U.S. Food Loss and Waste Goal: reducing wasted food 50 percent by 2030.

Miriam's Kitchen is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 working to end chronic homelessness in Washington, D.D. through providing meals, case management, advocacy, and permanent supportive housing services.

Western Presbyterian Church was formally organized in 1855 and serves the Foggy Bottom community as an active force and voice for a more just and compassionate society.

To find out more on reducing wasted food head to: http://www.epa.gov/foodrecovery

To learn more about the Food Steward's Pledge, including how to sign, head to: http://www.epa.gov/communityhealth/foodsteward