Food Recovery Challenge Honors KC’s MARC Solid Waste Management District
LENEXA, KAN. (JANUARY 27, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 recognizes Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Solid Waste Management Districtin Kansas City, Missouri, for its notable achievements and innovations in the 2021 EPA Food Recovery Challenge through its promotion of the EPA’s Sustainable Food Stewardship Principles to other organizations.
“The EPA Food Recovery Challenge award winners show how important preventing food waste and diverting excess healthy food from landfills and into people is for the environment and communities,” said Michael S. Regan. , administrator of the EPA. “Their achievements are great examples for other businesses, governments, organizations and communities, especially because food is the largest category of waste. We have an obligation to follow the lead of our award winners, not only for the sake of the 35 million food-insecure Americans, but also to prevent emissions that contribute to climate change.
Through the Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), EPA has worked with organizations and businesses over the past decade to set data-driven goals, implement targeted strategies to reduce food waste in their operations, and report results to compete for recognition.
“Community organizations and businesses are the backbone of our food recovery program,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meghan A. McCollister. “As we celebrate the successes of the MARC Solid Waste Management District with this award, we invite other businesses and organizations to join us in this valuable community endeavor.”
MARC’s Solid Waste Management District addresses food waste as part of its general awareness through a food waste prevention webpageand presentations to local organizations. In 2020, the district overhauled its communications efforts during the pandemic with a social media campaign that reached more than 16,000 people in the Kansas City metro area, primarily through Facebook. The district has also created an integrated care network to prepare and deliver meals to homes using donations of fresh, local produce.
“Everyone in our region has a role to play in reducing food waste,” said Lisa McDaniel, MARC Solid Waste Program Manager. “Our goal is to help families get started by providing simple, practical advice to reduce food loss and waste in their homes.”
The district also supported Kanbe’s Market, a nonprofit organization working to eliminate food deserts in Kansas City, by helping them expand their local alliance against food waste. The alliance receives food from a variety of sources, sells produce at healthy convenience stores, and donates additional food to partners who help feed people, such as churches and kitchens. Food that is not suitable for people’s diets goes to partners who feed animals or compost the food. In 2020, the alliance diverted more than 35 tons of food from landfill.
In 2019 and 2020, FRC national winners implemented innovative approaches and committed to practical, cost-effective actions and best practices to prevent and reduce food waste. Many RCF National Winners have provided much-needed food during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 600 companies, governments and organizations actively participated in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge in 2020-2021. Since the program’s launch in 2011, FRC partners have prevented or diverted more than 5.5 million tonnes of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators. During the most recent reporting cycle, FRC partners prevented or diverted approximately 1.2 million tons of food entering landfills or incinerators, saving partners up to $61.5 million in avoided landfill costs.
Each year in the United States, 73 to 152 million metric tons of food are lost or wasted at all stages of the food supply chain (from primary production to consumption), according to the November 2021 report from the EPA, From Farm to Kitchen: The Environmental Impacts of Food Waste in the United States. Food waste negatively impacts the economy, communities and the environment by wasting the resources used to grow and transport it. Preventing food waste and keeping food and other organic matter out of landfills mitigates climate change, as an estimated 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste. At the same time, uneaten food contains enough calories to feed more than 150 million people each year, far more than the estimated 35 million Americans who are food insecure.
Best practices used by FRC winners to reduce food waste in their operations, in addition to actions taken by individuals and communities, prevent food waste from landfills. Their actions also bring the United States closer to achieving the realigned national goal with target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to halve food loss and waste by 2030.
Learn more about the national and regional winners of the Food Recovery Challenge.
Learn more about the national food loss and waste reduction target.
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