U.S. EPA honors Sprouts Farmers Markets for leading food recovery efforts nationwide
TUSTIN, Calif. -Sprouts Farmers Market was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its outstanding efforts in food recovery.
The grocer received a national Food Recovery Challenge award for reducing food waste and, in the process, conserving natural resources. A national leader in the field of food recovery, this is the sixth EPA food recovery award that Sprouts has received.
"Sprouts is a leader amongst grocery stores nationwide, redirecting edible food to food banks and diverting waste from landfills into compost. These efforts reduce costs and waste while helping local communities and improving our environment," said Mike Stoker, EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.
"At Sprouts, we integrate food waste diversion programs across store operations, so we can alleviate hunger in our local communities and return valuable nutrients back to the soil," said Justin Kacer, Sprouts Sustainability Specialist. "We're proud to participate in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge and are grateful for our food bank and business partners who join Sprouts in eliminating food waste in the U.S."
Sprouts Grocers is one of 13 recipients who received the national 2018 Food Recovery Challenge Award. The award was given for outstanding, data-driven achievements in food diversion and recovery.
Sprouts Farmers Market has illustrated its commitment to eliminating food waste. In 2017, Sprouts Farmers Market store #256 in Tustin, California, diverted 57 tons of food to support local families in need. That food would have otherwise gone to waste. The store also composted an estimated 156 tons of food waste, helping to recycle nutrients and avoid landfill emissions. In 2017, Sprouts reached a diversion rate of 55% nationally and has committed to a 90% diversion rate by 2020.
The EPA's Food Recovery Challenge partners with over 1,000 organizations and businesses to prevent and reduce wasted food. The participants include groups such as grocers, educational institutions, sports and entertainment venues, restaurants and hotels. The program saves money, helps communities reduce hunger, and protects the environment by purchasing less, donating extra food and composting.
In 2017, 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.
President Donald J. Trump declared April Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month [https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/presidential-message-winning-reducing-food-waste-month], and on April 9, 2019, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas announced a federal interagency strategy to address food waste. The agencies hosted an event at EPA headquarters to hear from state, local and community leaders, and other stakeholders on how stakeholders can work together to reduce food waste.
For more information on the Food Recovery Challenge, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/foodrecoverychallenge/
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