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EPA Recognizes Vermont Business for Reducing Food Waste

12/17/2018
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
617-918-1017

BOSTON – A local breakfast restaurant enterprise based in Burlington, Vermont was among four organizations recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their work keeping wasted food out of landfills and incinerators and putting it to better use. Three additional Massachusetts organizations are also being recognized by EPA for their food reduction efforts.

The Skinny Pancake was recognized by EPA's New England regional office with a "Restaurant and Food Service Award" for its work in nine locations in Vermont and New Hampshire to source well over 50 percent of its raw and value-added ingredients from the VT local food system and in the past three years diverted over 65 tons of food scraps from landfill to compost.

"Preventing food waste and providing excess food to people in need has significant economic and social benefits," said Alexandra Dunn, EPA New England Regional Administrator. "We hope that these New England leaders' accomplishments will be examples for other organizations and communities who want to develop their own food recovery contributions."

Three Massachusetts organizations were also recognized by EPA for their food reduction efforts including: Andover, Mass. Public Schools; Boston College, in Chestnut Hill, Mass.; and Food for Free, in Cambridge, Mass. The awards are part of EPA's Food Recovery Challenge (FRC). The Food Recovery Challenge takes part in the efforts of the "Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative," a partnership including EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration, to reduce food loss and waste through combined federal action.

Background

In 2017, EPA New England worked with 57 New England-based Food Recovery Challenge participants to reduce wasted food, by diverting more than 59,000 tons of food for donation or composting.

Nationally, over 1,000 businesses, governments and not-for-profit 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. The strategies used by FRC organizations to reduce wasting food, plus those implemented by individuals, communities and public-private partnerships, will bring the United States closer to meeting the National goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030 or to 109 pounds of waste food per person per year.

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. Wasted food 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.

Nationally, EPA recognizes 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.

More Information

Food Recovery Challenge national and regional award winners: https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/food-recovery-challenge-results-and-award-winners

National food loss and waste reduction goal: https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/call-action-stakeholders-united-states-food-loss-waste-2030-reduction

U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions: https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/united-states-food-loss-and-waste-2030-champions