Food Recovery Programs

Overview of Food Recovery programs

2013-2018 Kansas Food Recovery Outreach

K-State Pollution Prevention Institute has been assisting industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) facilities with identifying opportunities to reduce food loss and divert excess food to hungry Kansans. Projects are guided by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Food Recovery Hierarchy. PPI also hosted train-the-trainer workshops, using EPA's "Food: Too Good to Waste" tools, for community leaders to reach households. Materials developed from these projects are available on this webpage.

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

  • 16% of U.S. energy
  • 50% of U.S. land
  • 67% of U.S. freshwater used
Yet 40% of food in the U.S. goes uneaten. That’s $218 billion each year! Less than one-third of America's food waste would be enough to feed its 42 million food insecure population.
Information from National Resources Defense Council August 2017 report (17-05-A). 

PPI has conducted a variety of food recovery projects sponsored by a variety of funding agencies (private, state, and federal).  Projects have been located in Kansas communities with populations as small as a few hundred to the city of Wichita, with a population almost 390,000. The common theme with the projects is how to keep food from entering landfills. Each project has used the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Food Recovery Hierarchy when making recommendations to ICI sectors as to how to manage their wasted food. In its establishment of the hierarchy, EPA considered not only environmental benefits, but also societal and economical.

The projects—

  • 2013: Rural community food waste assessment and recovery
  • 2013-14: Food recovery challenge feeds Sedgwick County hungry
  • 2017: Feed people not landfills
  • 2018: Three food waste assessment and recovery projects at ICI facilities
Want to learn more? Contact Nancy Larson by email or at 800-578-8898.

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. 

    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. 

    * Abbreviations:

    Abbreviation       County
    AN Anderson
    CK Cherokee
    CQ Chautauqua
    DK Dickinson
    DP Doniphan
    JF Jefferson
    LV Leavenworth
    PT Pottawatomie
    SN Shawnee
    WB Wabaunsee
    WY Wyandotte


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