An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Sustainable Management of Food

Food Recovery Challenge Results and Award Winners

On this page

Recognition is a key element of the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program and the Food Recovery Challenge (FRC). Food Recovery Challenge awards are offered in two categories – data driven and narrative. Participants do not need to apply for the data driven awards, as these awards are given based on the information submitted via the SMM Data Management System and are based on percent changes comparing an organization’s data to the previous year’s data. Participants and endorsers can apply for narrative awards in the following areas: Source Reduction, Leadership, Innovation, Education and Outreach, and Endorsers.


Food Recovery Challenge Results

In 2017, more than 1,000 Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers prevented and diverted over 648,000 tons of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators. Of this amount, participants and endorsers:

  • prevented over 18,000 tons of wasted food from being created through source reduction (prevention) activities,
  • donated approximately 214,000 tons of food,
  • anaerobically digested nearly 170,000 tons of food and
  • composted more than 234,000 tons of food.

Food Recovery Challenge participants saved up to $31.2 million in avoided tipping fees as well as reducing carbon emissions by 448,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

EPA is pleased to recognize the following organizations for their outstanding efforts in 2017 to advance sustainable materials management and for their leadership in sustainable management of food. Their accomplishments, along with all of the other FRC participants and endorsers will go a long way towards meeting the United States’ first ever national wasted food reduction goal – a 50 percent reduction by 2030.

Top of Page


2018 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - National Winners

Data-driven Improvement by Sector – highest percent increase over previous years

  • Grocers: Sprouts Farmers Market Store # 256, Tustin, California
  • Colleges/Universities: California State University, Northridge, California
  • K-12 Schools: Shawnee Mission School District - Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, Shawnee, Kansas
  • Sports and Entertainment Venues: Seattle Mariners/Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
  • Hospitality: MGM Resorts International - Bellagio Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, Nevada
  • State/Tribal/Local Government: City of Philadelphia – Department of Prisons, Pennsylvania
  • Non-profits: ProduceGood, Encinitas, California

Narrative Categories

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

Top of Page


2018 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - Regional Winners

In addition to national awards, EPA regional offices across the country provided recognition to FRC participants and endorsers for outstanding accomplishments in preventing and diverting wasted food. Regional winners are listed below by EPA Region and then by U.S. state:

EPA New England Region 1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont

Massachusetts

  • Boston College
  • Food for Free

Vermont

  • The Skinny Pancake

EPA's Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

New York

  • Golub Corporation (Price Chopper, Market 32)
  • Rock and Wrap it Up!
  • Skidmore College

New Jersey

  • Ravitz Family Markets, Price Rite Supermarkets, Inc.

EPA's Region 3: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia

Maryland

  • UEmpower of Maryland

Pennsylvania

  • GIANT Food Stores, LLC
  • University of Pittsburgh

EPA's Region 5: Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin

Illinois

  • SAVOR...Chicago - McCormick Place West Building

Michigan

  • Electric Forest and Bright Beat

EPA's Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

Texas

  • Aramark at The University of Texas at San Antonio - Residential Dining Hall, Roadrunner Café
  • Sprouts Farmers Market Store #126

EPA's Region 7: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

Kansas

  • Haskell Indian Nations University
  • Kansas State University

Missouri

  • Missouri Recycling Association

EPA's Region 8: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming

Colorado

  • Boulder County Jail

Montana

  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality

EPA's Region 9: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau

California

  • 99 Ranch Market: Store 3
  • 168 Market: Store 806
  • EcoSet Consulting
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Works – Environmental Programs Division
  • Sprouts Farmers Market Store #s 207, 211, 212, 221, 222, 227, 235, 242, 243, 245, 246, 248, 251, 255, 257, 262, 268 and 280

EPA's Region 10: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and 271 native tribes

Washington

  • CenturyLink Field
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Top of Page


Previous Winners

  • 2017 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - National Winners

    Data-driven Improvement by Sector – highest percent increase over previous years

    • Grocers: Sprouts Farmers Market - 247, Carlsbad, California
    • Colleges/Universities: University of Houston, Houston, Texas
    • K-12 Schools: Ramona High School, Ramona, California
    • Venues: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, Dallas, Texas
    • Hospitality: Xanterra Parks and Resorts at Zion National Park Lodge, Springdale, Utah
    • Restaurants and Food Service Providers: Café de Novo, Dallas, Texas
    • State/Tribal/Local Government: Town of New Paltz, New Paltz, New York
    • Non-profit: Food Forward, North Hollywood, California
    • Newcomer: Sprouts Farmers Market - 276, Daly City, California
    • Food Manufacturing: Signature Breads, Inc., Chelsea, Massachusetts

    Narrative Categories

    • Source Reduction, Winner: Cherokee Point Elementary – San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, California
    • Leadership, Winner: City of San Diego, San Diego, California
    • Innovation, Winner: Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival, Honesdale, Pennsylvania
    • Innovation, Winner: San Diego International Airport, San Diego, California
    • Education and Outreach, Winner: Spoiler Alert, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Endorsers, Winner: Corporate Waste Consultants, Greentown, Pennsylvania
  • 2017 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - Regional Winners

    In addition to national awards, EPA regional offices across the country provided recognition to FRC participants and endorsers for outstanding accomplishments in preventing and diverting wasted food. Regional winners are listed below by EPA Region and then by U.S. state:

    EPA New England Region 1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont
    Connecticut

    • Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut
    • Southern Connecticut State University
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Milford

    Maine

    • Colby College
    • Hannaford Supermarkets
    • University of Southern Maine

    Massachusetts

    • Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Medical Center
    • Big Y World Class Markets
    • Boston College
    • Café de Boston
    • Clark University
    • College of the Holy Cross
    • Gillette Stadium
    • Katharine Lee Bates Elementary School
    • Northeastern University
    • Raytheon Company & Eurest
    • Salem State University
    • University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
    • University of Massachusetts - Lowell

    New Hampshire

    • Parkland Medical Center

    Rhode Island

    • Johnson and Wales University

    Vermont

    • Harvest Market
    • Stratton Mountain Resort
    • Vermont Lake Monsters

    EPA's Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
    New Jersey

    • Ravitz Family Markets: Evesham Rd
    • Ravitz Family Markets: Price Rite
    • Whole Foods: Edgewater
    • Whole Foods: Paramus

    New York

    • Daemen College
    • Golub Corporation
    • Rock and Wrap It up! – Animal Kingdom
    • Rock and Wrap It Up! – Atlanta Braves
    • Rock and Wrap It Up! - Billions
    • Rock and Wrap It Up! – Black Sabbath
    • Rock and Wrap It Up! – Chicago White Sox
    • Rock and Wrap It Up! – Cincinnati Reds
    • Rock and Wrap It Up! – Jones Beach Live
    • Rock and Wrap It Up! – Milwaukee Brewers
    • Rock and Wrap It Up! – NY Yankees
    • Wegmans
    • Whole Foods: Albany
    • Whole Foods: Jericho
    • Whole Food: Lake Grove
    • Whole Foods: Tribeca
    • Whole Foods: Upper West Side

    EPA's Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee
    Georgia

    • Georgia World Congress Center Authority

    North Carolina

    • Food Lion Grocery Stores

    South Carolina

    • Clemson University

    EPA's Region 5: Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin

    Illinois

    • The Field Museum
    • Green Music Fest 2016

    Indiana

    • HopCat Broad Ripple

    Ohio

    • The Kroger Company

    Michigan

    • Central Michigan University

    Minnesota

    • Saint Paul River Centre/Xcel Energy Center

    EPA's Region 7: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

    Iowa

    • Drake University - Next Course Food Recovery
    • Food Rescue Partnership
    • Grinnell College
    • Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC)

    Kansas

    • Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
    • Shawnee Mission School District

    Missouri

    • Green Dining Alliance
    • Kansas City Chiefs
    • Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)
    • St. Louis Cardinals

    EPA's Region 8: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming

    Colorado

    • Aurora Public Schools
  • 2016 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - National Winners

    Data-driven Improvement by Sector – highest percent increase over previous years

    • Grocers: Sprouts Farmers Market: 205
    • Colleges and Universities: Ursinus College
    • K-12 Schools: Lanikai School
    • Sports and Entertainment Venues: Chumash Casino Resort
    • Hotels, Resorts, and Lodging: Ortega National Parks, LLC: Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company
    • Restaurants and Food Service Providers: Goodkind
    • Newcomer: Sprouts Farmers Market: 286
    • Other Sector: Town of New Paltz

    Narrative Categories

    • Source Reduction, Winner: University of California, Davis
    • Leadership, Winner: Sodexo
    • Innovation, Winner: Food Forward
    • Education and Outreach, Winner: Ramona High School
    • Endorsers, Winner: Northeast Recycling Council
  • 2016 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - Regional Winners

    In addition to national awards, EPA regional offices across the country provided recognition to FRC participants and endorsers for outstanding accomplishments in preventing and diverting wasted food. Regional winners are listed below by EPA Region and then by U.S. state:

    EPA New England Region 1
    Connecticut

    • Wesleyan University
    • Whole Foods Market: Danbury, Fairfield and Darien

    Massachusetts

    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    • Big Y, headquarters in Springfield
    • Boston College
    • Boston Red Sox
    • Boston Medical Center
    • BJs Wholesale Club, headquarters in Westborough
    • Framingham State University
    • Gillette Stadium
    • Lesley University
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Massachusetts Maritime Academy
    • Northeastern University
    • Salem State University
    • Saunders Hotel Group: The Lenox, Boston
    • Saunders Hotel Group: Comfort Inn & Suites, Revere
    • University of Massachusetts, Lowell
    • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    • Wellesley College
    • Whole Foods Market: North Atlantic Region, Cambridge

    Maine

    • Hannaford Supermarkets, headquarters in Scarborough
    • University of Southern Maine

    New Hampshire

    • Keene State College

    Vermont

    • Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

    EPA's Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
    New Jersey

    • FRC Ravitz Family Markets, Price Rite Supermarkets Inc.
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Ridgewood
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Montclair
    • The DOE Princeton Plasma Physics Lab
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Middletown
    • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Marlton Supermarkets Inc.
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Paramus
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Millburn-Union
    • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Mount Laurel Supermarkets Inc.
    • Raritan Valley Community College
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Rose City Madison
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: West Orange
    • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Cherry Hill Supermarkets Inc.
    • Hackensack University Medical Center
    • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Evesham Rd., Cherry Hill Supermarkets Inc.
    • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Union Mill Rd., Mt. Laurel Supermarkets Inc.

    New York

    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Albany
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Port Chester
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Yonkers
    • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: White Plains
    • CBS
    • Daemen College
    • Live Nation Jones Beach Theater
    • Merrick Avenue School
    • NBC Universal
    • Westhampton Beach School Districts
    • Unforgettable Production
    • Arizona Diamond Backs
    • Atlanta Braves
    • Bagelry of the Five Towns
    • CBS
    • Chicago White Sox
    • Chipotle of the Five Towns
    • Cincinnati Reds
    • Costco of the Five Towns
    • Crawfords Coffee Bar & Cafe of the Five Towns
    • Guilford County Schools
    • HBO
    • Island Bagel Bar of the Five Towns
    • Milwaukee Brewers
    • Minnesota Twins
    • NBC Universal
    • New York Knicks
    • New York Mets
    • New York Rangers
    • New York Yankees
    • Panera Bread of the Five Towns
    • Royal Pains Production
    • Showtime
    • Sony Pictures Entertainment
    • Starbucks of the Five Towns
    • The Affair Production
    • The Following Production
    • The Good Wife Production
    • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Production
    • Warner Brothers

    EPA's Region 5: Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin
    Ohio

    • The Kroger Company

    Michigan

    • Central Michigan University

    Minnesota

    • Saint Paul River Centre/Xcel Energy Center

    EPA's Region 9: The Pacific Southwest
    California

    • City of San Diego Environmental Services Department

    Hawaii

    • Lanikai School Public Charter
  • 2015 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - National Winners

    Data-driven Improvement by Sector – highest percent increase over previous year

    • Colleges and Universities: Salem State University
    • K-12 Schools: Pearl City High School
    • Grocers: Sprouts Farmers Market - 24
    • Hospitality: Ortega National Parks, LLC - White Sands Trading Company
    • Restaurants and Food Service Providers: Serendipity Catering
    • Sports and Entertainment Venues: SAVOR…Chicago-McCormick Place South
    • Other Organization: Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Theo Lacy Facility

    Narrative Categories

    • Source Reduction, Winner: UC, Santa Cruz
    • Source Reduction, Honorable Mention: Clark University
    • Leadership, Winner: MB Financial Park at Rosemont/Village of Rosemont
    • Innovation, Winner: Crystal Creamery
    • Innovation, Honorable Mention: City of Philadelphia - Philadelphia Prison System
    • Education and Outreach, Winner: Keene State College
    • Endorser, Winner: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • 2015 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - Regional Winners

    In addition to national awards, EPA regional offices across the country provided recognition to FRC participants and endorsers for outstanding accomplishments in preventing and diverting wasted food. Regional winners are listed below by EPA Region and then by U.S. state:

    EPA New England (Region 1)
    Connecticut

    • Wesleyan University
    • Whole Foods Market, Danbury
    • Whole Food Market, Westport

    Massachusetts

    • Berkshire Health Systems (expanded story available)
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    • Big Y, headquartered in Springfield
    • BJs Wholesale Club, headquartered in Westborough
    • Boston Organics
    • Fairview Hospital (of Berkshire Hospital Systems), Great Barrington
    • Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, Cambridge and Framingham
    • Lesley University
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Massachusetts Maritime Academy
    • Northeastern University
    • Signature Bread
    • University of Massachusetts, Lowell
    • Wellesley College

    Maine

    • Colby College
    • University of Maine, Farmington
    • University of Maine, Orono
    • University of Southern Maine, Portland

    New Hampshire

    Rhode Island

    • Johnson & Wales University 

    Vermont

    • Stratton Mountain Resort

    EPA New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands (Region 2)

    New York

    EPA Pacific Southwest (Region 9)

    Arizona

    California

    Hawaii

    • Kapiolani Community College
    • Kupu Hawai'i, Honolulu (expanded story available)
    • Ortega National Parks Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
    • Whole Foods, Maui

    Nevada

  • 2014 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - National Winners

    National Data-Driven Awardees

    • College and University, Winner, Worcester State University
    • College and University, Honorable Mention, Wellesley College
    • Grocer, Corporate Winner, Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, ShopRite
    • Grocer, Facility Winner, Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, ShopRite, Marlton Supermarkets, Inc.
    • Grocer, Facility Honorable Mention, Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, ShopRite, Union Mill Road, Mt. Laurel, NJ
    • Sports and Entertainment Venues, Corporate Winner, National Hockey League
    • Sports Venue, Facility Winner, National Hockey League, Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena
    • Convention Center, Facility Winner, Savor McCormick Place West
    • Theme Park, Facility Winner, Disneyland Resort
    • Hotel, Resort & Lodging, Corporate Winner, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas
    • Hotel, Resort & Lodging, Facility Winner, Intercontinental New York Barclay
    • Hotel, Resort & Lodging, Facility Honorable Mention, MGM Resorts International, MGM Grand, Las Vegas
    • Other Sector, Facility Winner, MB Financial Park at Rosemont/Village of Rosemont
    • Other Sector, Facility Honorable Mention, Parkland Medical Center

    National Narrative Awardees

    • Source Reduction, Winner, University of California, Irvine
    • Source Reduction, Honorable Mention, Kroger’s
    • Leadership, Winner, Kroger’s
    • Leadership, Honorable Mention, Savor…Chicago at McCormick Place
    • Innovation, Winner, Kroger’s
    • Education and Outreach, Winner, Kroger’s
    • Education and Outreach, Honorable Mention, Savor…Chicago at McCormick Place
    • Endorser, Winner, Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium
    • Endorser, Honorable Mention, LeanPath
  • 2013 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - National Winners and About the Process

    Recognition is a key element of the Sustainable Materials Management Program and the Food Recovery Challenge. EPA is pleased to recognize these organizations for their outstanding leadership in food waste prevention and diversion in 2012.

    National Data-Driven Awardees

    • College and University, Winner, UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA (Diverted more than 80 tons of food waste in 2012)
    • College and University, Honorable Mention, Clark University, Worcester, MA (Diverted more than 10 tons of food waste in 2012)
    • Food, Drug and Convenience Stores, Winner, ShopRite of Roxborough, Philadelphia, PA (Diverted more than 223 tons of food waste in 2012)
    • Food, Drug and Convenience Stores, Honorable Mention, Whole Foods South Region, North Raleigh, Raleigh, NC (Diverted nearly 300 tons of food waste in 2012)
    • Sports and Entertainment, Winner, Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles), Philadelphia, PA (Composted more than 105 tons of food waste in 2012)
    • General Category, Winner, The Orchards at Southington, Southington, CT (Diverted over one ton of food waste in 2012)
    • General Category, Honorable Mention, Federal Correctional Institution, McDowell, Welch, WV (Diverted over 130 tons of food waste in 2012)

    Narrative Awardees

    • Innovation, UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA
      • Student-led composting effort resulted in nearly 1,300 tons of food waste being composted.
    • Innovation, Clark University, Worcester, MA
      • Clark University Eco Reps’ composting pilot project resulted in the identification of up to 60 percent of dorm waste being compostable material. Commercial size compost bins are on all floors of freshman dorms, as well as in the dining hall.
    • Innovation, City of Cupertino, CA
      • The City negotiated a five year franchise agreement with its hauler to achieve a 75 percent waste diversion rate, with contract extension being dependent on this goal being met. The City identified higher rates of food waste collection and composting as the means to achieving the 75 percent goal. As a result of this effort, the City’s diversion rate has increased from 65 percent to 71 percent.
    • Endorsers, Wakefern Food Corporation, Edison, NJ
      • Under Wakefern’s leadership, ten ShopRite stores registered for the Food Recovery Challenge and prevented a total of more than 1,100 tons of food waste from going to landfills or incinerators.

    2013 National Awards Process

    The EPA presented seven participants with national data-driven awards for annual improvement, measuring increases in food waste prevention and diversion by comparing 2012 data to 2011 data.

    Annual Improvement awards go to the top two participants in the three key sectors of grocers, venues and colleges/universities, as well as in a general category. The seven data-driven award recipients prevented and diverted a combined total of 2,619 tons of food waste in 2012 from entering landfills or incinerators.

    The Agency gave four narrative awards in the Innovation and Endorsers categories. Innovation awards are given to FRC participants who can demonstrate developing and implementing a better or more effective approach to improving food waste diversion from landfills or incinerators. Endorser awards are given to FRC participants who have demonstrated excellence in environmental leadership by both educating grocers, universities, venues, and other entities about the importance of sustainable food waste management and influencing them to join the FRC.

Top of Page