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News Releases from Region 06

University of Texas at Arlington Wins National Award for EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge

Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (Dec. 11, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the University of Texas at Arlington for outstanding accomplishments in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), under the Trump Administration’s “Winning on Reducing Food Waste” Initiative. The 14 businesses and organizations comprising this year’s FRC national awardees used innovative approaches and engaged in a variety of cost-effective and practical actions to prevent and reduce food waste. 

“The Trump Administration is working closely with businesses and consumers to prevent food loss, redirect excess food to productive uses, and maximize the inherent value of food,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The accomplishments of the Food Recovery Challenge participants not only benefit the environment and the economy, but also serve as excellent examples for other companies, governments, and organizations to emulate.” 

The University of Texas at Arlington was recognized with the national Leadership award in the Narrative category of participants. The university implemented many innovative programs to reduce food waste on campus, including introducing trayless dining; tracking, measuring, and reducing food waste in kitchens; providing dietician services to students for tips on choosing portion sizes; and establishing on-campus composting. The university also raised awareness about food waste by collecting and weighing leftovers before students put dishes on the return conveyer belt, and even establishing a class called Human Ecology of Food to encourage students to think about the consequences of and potential solutions to the problem of food waste.

This year, EPA is once again recognizing Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers with awards in two categories: data-driven and narrative. The data-driven award recipients achieved the highest percent increases in their sector comparing year to year data. Narrative award winners made notable achievements in the areas of source reduction, leadership, innovation, education and outreach, and endorsement.

Two of this year’s national award winners are U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, a group of businesses and organizations who have publicly committed to reduce food loss and waste by fifty percent in their own operations by the year 2030.

The full list of 2018 Food Recovery Challenge national award winners is below:

Data-Driven Award Winners by Sector

  • Grocers: Sprouts Farmers Market Store #256 (Tustin, California)
  • Colleges and Universities: California State University, Northridge (Northridge, California) 
  • K-12 Schools: Shawnee Mission School District - Christa McAuliffe Elementary School (Lenexa, Kansas)
  • Sports and Entertainment Venues: Seattle Mariners/Safeco Field (Seattle, Washington)
  • Hotels, Resorts and Lodging: MGM Resorts International - Bellagio Hotel and Casino Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada) 
  • State/Tribal/Local Government: City of Philadelphia - Department of Prisons (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Non-Profit: ProduceGood (Encinitas, California)
  • Newcomer: The Western Spur Restaurant at Natchez Trace State Park (Wildersville, Tennessee)

Narrative Award Winners

  • Source Reduction: The Forge Restaurant at Montgomery Bell State Park (Burns, Tennessee)
  • Leadership: University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, Texas)
  • Innovation: Food Forward (Los Angeles, California)
  • Education and Outreach: Andover Public Schools – Green Schools Andover (Andover, Massachusetts)
  • Endorser: Sodexo (Gaithersburg, Maryland)
  • Endorser – Honorable Mention: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (Nashville, Tennessee)


EPA is part of the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative, a collaboration among EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration, to reduce food loss and waste through combined federal action. Over 1,000 businesses, governments, and organizations participate in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. In 2017, FRC participants prevented or diverted almost 648,000 tons of food from entering landfills or incinerators, saving participants up to $31.2 million in avoided landfill tipping fees. 

Food waste is the single largest type of waste thrown away each year in our daily trash. In 2015, more than 39 million tons of food waste was generated. Food waste adversely impacts the economy, our communities and the environment by wasting the resources used to grow and transport food. At the same time, approximately 12 percent of America’s households have difficulty providing enough food for all of their family members. Hungry people in need would benefit from the redirection of nutritious, wholesome food that would have otherwise been thrown away. The strategies used by FRC organizations, plus those implemented by individuals, communities and public-private partnerships help to lessen these impacts and bring the United States closer to meeting the national goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030. 

For more information on the Food Recovery Challenge national and regional award winners, visit:

For more information on the national food loss and waste reduction goal, visit:

For more information on the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, visit:

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