Each year, between 30-40% of all food in the US is unsold or uneaten. That’s $408 billion worth of food—roughly 2% of US GDP—and about 4% of US GHG emissions. Most becomes food waste, heading straight to landfill, incineration, down the drain, or it's left in the fields be tilled back under. All while millions face hunger and our ecosystems are degraded. This issue was exacerbated as the COVID-19 pandemic created massive disruptions in the food system. Farmers lost markets as businesses shut down, grocery shelves sat empty, food pantry lines ran for miles as a spotlight was shone on the gaps in our systems; even more food was lost as food insecurity grew. Addressing this challenge is essential to building a regenerative and resilient food system that helps mitigate climate change, reverses nature loss, and feeds more people.
Businesses, government agencies, funders, and many others are already taking huge strides to address this challenge—but a massive acceleration is needed. We are calling on the Biden administration and Congress to take ambitious action to achieve national and international goals to reduce food loss and waste 50% by 2030 through five key actions.
Invest in Prevention and Keep Waste out of Landfills
Food is the single largest input by weight into US landfills and incinerators, where it causes social and environmental harm. Investing in infrastructure and programs that measure and prevent waste, incentivize rescue of surplus and safe excess food, and keep it out of landfills will help achieve climate gains, improve our country's soils, boost profits for farmers, and feed more people.
Offer Funding for States and Cities that Incentivizes Organic Waste Measurement, Rescue, Recycling, and Prevention (Congress, Administration)
Require the Development of Food Waste Measurement Planning and Transparency (Congress, EPA)
Build Demand for Compost (USDA, Congress)
Fund Development of Public-Private Partnerships (Congress)
Eliminate Barriers to Feeding Food Scraps to Animals (USDA, FDA)
Enable Surplus Food Donation
Less than 10% of excess food is donated rather than wasted. Through policy revisions, creating alternative markets, and strengthening regional supply chains, we can make it easier for farmers, retailers, and all foodservice organizations to donate excess food to help feed those in need in our communities.
Expand the Federal Enhanced Tax Deduction for Food Donation to Include Non-Profit Sales and Transport (Congress)
Enable Greater Food Donation by Farmers (Congress)
Strengthen Liability Protections for Food Donation (Congress)
Clarify Guidance on Food Safety for Donations (FDA, Congress)
Continue to Create Alternative Market Channels for Producers and Consumers (USDA, Congress)
Establish New Positions for Regional Supply Chain Coordinators (USDA, Congress)
Show US Leadership at Home and Abroad
The US has one of the world’s highest levels of food waste per person. It is vital for the nation’s food security, climate, economic, and recovery objectives that we set a leading example on how to drive solutions.
Embed FLW Reduction in US Nationally Determined Contribution (Administration)
Require Federal Facilities to Measure, Rescue, Recycle, and Prevent Organic Waste, and to Purchase Finished Compost Products (Administration, Congress)
Fund and Incentivize FLW Innovation (Congress)
Boost Funding for the Federal Interagency Effort to Reduce Food Waste (Congress)
Educate and Activate Consumers
37% of food waste happens at the US household level. We must educate and empower Americans to change their behaviors everywhere that they eat, in coordination with efforts in consumer-facing businesses to drive better food management.
Fund Research and Awareness Campaigns to Reduce Consumer Food Waste (Congress, USDA, EPA, FDA)
Pass the School Food Recovery Act (Congress, USDA)
Standardize National Date Labeling
Date label confusion is one of the leading causes of consumer and consumer-facing business food waste. We need consistent labels, standardized at the federal level, and streamlined public education on how to use and interpret.
Pass the Food Date Labeling Act (Congress)
American Hotel & Lodging Association
Baltimore City Department of Public Works
Baltimore Office of Sustainability
BioCycle, The Organics Recycling Authority
Center for EcoTechnology
City of Asheville, Office of Sustainability
City of Atlanta, Mayor's Office of Resilience
City of Madison, WI
City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Clean Memphis IDEAS For Us
Companies For Zero Waste
Environmental Law Institute
Food Recovery Network
Food Rescue US
Go2Zero Strategies, LLC
Hellmann's Best Foods
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Make Food Not Waste
Novamont North America
PCC Community Markets
Plant Based Products Council
San Diego Food System Alliance
SH Hotels & Resorts
Sustainable Events Network, Florida & Caribbean
The City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability
The Kroger Co.
Too Good To Go
Urban Green Lab
US Composting Council
Zero Waste in DC
Additional supporters will be added on a rolling basis