Food Recovery Challenge

Overview of program

Food Recovery Challenge meets Rural Kansas
Assisting businesses and institutions in rural Kansas with reducing food-related waste

Food waste facts
Getting food from the farm to fork uses—

  • 10% of U.S. energy
  • 50% of U.S. land
  • 80% of all freshwater consumed in U.S.
40% of food in the U.S. goes uneaten. That’s $165 billion each year! 
 
Information from National Resources Defense Council August 2012 issue paper (12-06-B). 
What’s the program about? K-State Pollution Prevention Institute is helping rural Kansas reduce food waste using EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) tools to keep food from entering our landfills. Ways to reduce food waste include waste minimization/source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and finding alternative uses for wastes which cannot be reduced.

Who can participate? The focus for the project is rural Kansas (communities with a population less than 5,500).  Targeted facilities include workplace cafeterias, hospitals, schools, delis, and communities.  On-site assistance visits will be determined based on community data and facility need.   

When is the project occurring? October 2013 through September 2014.
 
Want to learn more? Contact Nancy Larson by email or at 800-578-8898.
Funding for this program (administered by the K-State Pollution Prevention Institute) is available in part by a USDA Solid Waste Management grant.

Resources for reducing food waste

Overview and checklist for food recovery [PDF]

Learn more about the food recovery hierarchy and how to conduct your own food waste audit (surpus food checklist).
  PPI's food waste logbook [Microsoft Excel]

If your facility would like to track food waste generation for a one, three, or seven-day period, this Excel spreadsheet will automatically calculate amount and cost of the food waste.
         
Strategies to reduce food waste at schools [PDF]

View a list of strategies to assist schools in reducing food waste. This document is applicable to all schools, though some links are specific to Kansas. 
  Green meeting checklist for conferences and trade shows [PDF]

Is your facility planning to host or hold a green meeting?  This document is a checklist for what to consider, which includes food-related decision making. 
         
Gleaning toolkit from USDA [PDF]

Gleaning is the act of collecting excess fresh foods from places like gardens and farms, farmers markets, grocery stores, and any other sources in order to give the food to those who need it.  Find out more about the process in this document.
 
 
Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants [PDF]

This EPA toolkit is designed to help food service establishments and commercial kitchens save money by reducing wasted food and packaging with suggested strategies, templates and case studies.
 
  
         
Food Recovery Challenge

Any business or organization can participate in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge through prevention, donation and recycling.  Learn more about the program and available resources at this website.  
  Food Recovery Certified [PDF]
This program certifies food businesses that recover food from their establishments at least once per month. Any food business including restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, hospitals, caterers, farms, farmers markets, and college dining halls can apply for certification. 

Food waste in the news

  • Food waste in America: A multi-billion-dollar loss [Kansas City Star; 9/22/2014]
  • French grocer tackles food waste with "ugly fruit" point-of-sale advertising [Canadian Grocer; 5/21/2014; video of advertising available] 
  • 'Best before' dates add to food waste: EU paper [Reuters; 5/16/2014]
  • New school meal standards significantly increase fruit, vegetable consumption [Harvard School of Public Health; 03/04/2014]
  • U.S. lets 141 trillion calories of food go to waste each year [National Public Radio; 2/27/2014]
  • Start-ups, organizations take on America’s food waste challenge [PBS; 01/26/2014]
  • Startups try to reroute food waste to the hungry [National Public Radio; 10/29/2013]
  • Waste food a worry for schools [The Wichita Eagle; 12/01/2012]

    Map of Kansas food diversion facilities
    Are you aware of facilities in your area of Kansas that accept food-related materials, such as food pantries, animal feed operations, biodigesters, or composting facilities? Email or call 800-578-8898 to get it added to the map. 

     

     

    K-State Pollution Prevention Institute
    (800) 578-8898 | sbeap@ksu.edu
    2323 Anderson Ave., Suite 300, Manhattan, KS 66506