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Sustainable Management of Food

User Guide for the Excess Food Opportunities Map

The U.S. EPA Excess Food Opportunities Map supports nationwide diversion of excess food from landfills. The interactive map displays the locations of more than 500,000 potential industrial, commercial and institutional excess food generators and more than 4,000 potential recipients. Learn more about this map and its uses.

Below are tips about how to use the map and generate commonly requested views.


Overview of Map Icons

The map landing page displays the following icons. Use them to navigate and display excess food generators and recipients across the nation.

this is the icon used to denote bookmarks which is in the shape of a bookBookmarks:  Quickly navigate to preloaded specified regions of the country.

this is what the basemap gallery icon looks like which is four white squares stacked on top and next to each other to form another squareBasemap gallery: Choose from a variety of base maps that provide context for your map view (e.g., topographic, aerial, street).

this is what the icon denoting near me looks like which is a white ball on top of a circle‘Near Me’: Enter a physical address, city, state or zip code and a specified radius to adjust the map view, and see a count of generators in that area.

this is what the icon for the home view looks like which is a white houseHome view: Reset the map to view the entire nation.

this is what the icon denoting your location looks like which is a white circle with 4 hash marks inside itYour location: Zoom to your location on the map.

this is what the icon for legend looks like which is a box within which is a triangle with a line next to it and beneath that is a square with a line next to it and beneath that is a circle with a line next to it.Legend: View map layers & icons that have been selected.

this is what the layers list icon looks like which is like a stack of papersLayer List: View full list of map layers that can be turned on and off.

this is what the icon for about looks like which is a white circle with an italicized i inside of itAbout: Learn more about the map, including where to download data.

this is what the icon for print looks like which is the image of a printerPrint: Print the current map view in a variety of formats and layouts.

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Create Map Views

View Generators

this is a screen shot of what the excess food opportunities map would yield when you do a View Generators query as outlined in the user guide.Generators appear as colored icons on the map. Top generators can be viewed separately and appear as colored points.

  1. Navigate to a region of interest using the Bookmarks this is the icon used to denote bookmarks which is in the shape of a book, ‘Near Me’ this is what the icon denoting near me looks like which is a white ball on top of a circleor Your Location this is what the icon denoting your location looks like which is a white circle with 4 hashmarks inside it icons the +/- buttons, or by double clicking on the map to zoom in.
  2. Select layers from the Layer List this is what the layers list icon looks like which is like a stack of papersto make them appear as icons on the map. Click the Legend this is what the icon for legend looks like which is a box within which is a triangle with a line next to it and beneath that is a square with a line next to it and beneath that is a circle with a line next to it.to view the complete list of selected layers and their icons/colors.
    Note: The Top Generators box must be selected in addition to the generator type(s) for top generators to display on the map. The Legend will indicate the relative generation rates for the sizes of circles that appear on the map.
  3. Click on each icon or point on the map to generate a pop-up box that provides establishment-specific information. See next section to view and filter generator data for multiple establishments.
    Note: The map may require additional time to load if viewing large areas. Viewing a smaller area will reduce load time and improve your ability to see individual generators.
    Note: The ‘Near Me’ tool will count a maximum of 1,000 establishments for each generator type in the selected radius, as reflected in the pop-up box. If the count is 1,000 for any generator type, consider reducing the ‘Near Me’ radius to get an accurate establishment count for an area, particularly before filtering.

View Recipients

this is a screen shot of what the excess food opportunities map would yield when you do a View Recipients query as outlined in the user guide.Recipients are mapped at the zip code and county levels only, and darker purple areas indicate higher recipient densities.

  1. Navigate to a region of interest using the Bookmarks this is the icon used to denote bookmarks which is in the shape of a book, ‘Near Me’ this is what the icon denoting near me looks like which is a white ball on top of a circleor Your Location this is what the icon denoting your location looks like which is a white circle with 4 hashmarks inside it icons the +/- buttons, or by double clicking on the map to zoom in.
  2. Select layers from the Layer List this is what the layers list icon looks like which is like a stack of papersto make them appear on the map. Note that the layer category and subcategory must both be selected to display recipients. Click the Legend this is what the icon for legend looks like which is a box within which is a triangle with a line next to it and beneath that is a square with a line next to it and beneath that is a circle with a line next to it.to view the complete list of layers selected.
  3. Click on any colored area to generate a pop-up box showing count of recipients by type. See next section to view and filter recipient data for multiple establishments.
    Note: The map may require additional time to load if viewing large areas. Viewing a smaller area will reduce load time.

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View and Filter Establishment-Level Data

There are several ways to view a list of establishments in the attribute table. Below is one easy way to do this, as well as a description of how to further filter map layers.

Navigate to a region of interest using the Bookmarks this is the icon used to denote bookmarks which is in the shape of a book, Near Me this is what the icon denoting near me looks like which is a white ball on top of a circleor Your Location this is what the icon denoting your location looks like which is a white circle with 4 hashmarks inside it icons the +/- buttons, or by double clicking on the map to zoom in.

View a list of generators

  1. Open the attribute table by clicking the arrow at the bottom middle of the screen this is a picture of the arrow to click on the wasted food opportunities map . The table will automatically filter to show the generators that are in the map view. Click any generator type in the layer list to see the establishments on the map, too.
  2. To view a list of all establishments in the nation for a specific generator type, unclick Filter by Map Extent (this removes the automatic filter). This is a useful feature if you’d like to set up customized filters, as detailed below.

This is a screen shot of the pop up box for the excess food recipients in Coos County, Oregon.View a list of recipients

  1. Select recipients of excess food from the Layer List this is what the layers list icon looks like which is like a stack of papersto view them on the map. Then, click on a county or zip code area to view the pop-up box showing recipient count by type.
  2. Under Related Tables, click the arrow next to the recipient type of interest.
  3. In the next pop-up box, click the ellipses (…) in the bottom right and choose View in Attribute Table. The attribute table will open and display records for the specified recipient type and location.  To reset a recipient tab so you can once again view the full list, click Refresh in the attribute table.this is a screenshot of the tool bar on the map to show people how they can refresh the view.

Sort and filter lists of generators and recipients

  1. The attribute table presents a tab for each generator and recipient type in the map. You can filter data corresponding to the map view, or you can filter the national dataset. To filter the full list of any generator or recipient type, make sure the Filter by Map Extent button is not selected.this is a screenshot of the tool bar on the map to show people how they can filter by map extent.
  2. To sort the listed establishments, click on any column header in a tab and choose Sort Ascending or Sort Descending.
  3. this is a screen shot to show people where on the tool bar the filter button is.Filtering must be applied to each tab individually. To begin, select a tab and click the Options button in the upper left corner of the table. Then choose Filter.
  4. Select Add a Filter Expression to apply one filter, or Add an Expression Set to apply multiple filters. To remove a filter, click the “x” at the end of the expression.
  5. A dropdown box will appear from which you can choose the field(s) on which you want to filter (e.g., Name, Zip Code, Excess Food Estimate). Then, choose the filter(s) (e.g., is, contains, is greater than), and input the relevant text or numbers. Keep the radio dial button selection set to “Value” and click Okay. The table will update to reflect the filter(s).
    Note: The ‘Near Me’ tool will count a maximum of 1,000 establishments for each generator type in the selected radius, as reflected in the pop-up box. If the count is 1,000 for any generator type, consider reducing the ‘Near Me’ radius to get an accurate establishment count for an area, particularly before filtering.
    Note: To show or hide columns in a table, click Options, and then Show/Hide Columns to select columns to show or hide.

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Download Data

There are two ways to download data: (a) download data from the map interface into a Microsoft Excel document, which is limited to the first 1,000 records in a table, and (b) download a zip file that provides all data in Microsoft Excel as well as the full geodatabase (compatible with GIS software) from the EPA Environmental Dataset Gateway.

Download data directly from the map into a Microsoft Excel document

  • Open the attribute table by clicking the arrow at the bottom of the screen this is a picture of the arrow to click on the wasted food opportunities map
  • Select the tab with the dataset of interest. Filter the data from here if desired. Then, click the Options tab in the table viewer and select Export to CSV. This will export only the first 1,000 rows in the tab being viewed; to export data from multiple layers, do so one tab at a time.

Download data from the EPA Environmental Dataset Gateway (EDG)

Data is available for download in a single zip file that is posted on the EDG website. This file includes a Microsoft Excel document as well as geodatabase files that can be used to create GIS maps. Use this direct link to pull down the zip file and save it to your computer.

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