USDA Food Loss and Waste Newsletter
USDA Announces Recipients of Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Awards

On, Oct. 5, 2021, USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production’s (UAIP) Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) Projects announced the recipients of approximately $1.92 million in cooperative agreement funding. UAIP awarded 24 pilot projects submitted by local and municipal governments to develop and implement strategies for municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. The agreements also aim to increase access to compost for agricultural producers, improve soil quality and encourage innovative, scalable waste management plans that reduce and divert food waste from landfills. Grant recipients include projects in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Learn more.

New USDA Food Waste Infographic: Don’t Waste Uneaten Food—Compost it!

Food is the single largest category of material sent to municipal solid waste landfills. In 2018, 35 million tons of food scraps went into landfills. Food in landfills generates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. You can help the environment by recycling your food waste into compost. To learn more about how and what to compost, use the Don’t Waste Uneaten Food—Compost it infographic as a starting guide.

USDA Hosts Roundtable on Food Waste Solutions in the U.S. and Abroad
On September 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a virtual roundtable: “Exploring Food Waste Solutions: Success Stories from the U.S. and Beyond,” to showcase innovative policies and approaches to reducing food waste in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom. The roundtable featured public and private leaders in the food waste prevention sector followed by a Q&A session. Watch a video recording of the roundtable. A recap blog is also available.

New Food Waste Report from Natural Resource Defense Council

In October 2021, the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) published Feeding a City: Food Waste and Food Need Across in America. The report derives analysis from 22 U.S. cities and compiles patterns and recommendations to ultimately help inform U.S. cities on policies and programs that reduce food waste. The study looks at the ways in which each city’s demographics (such as size, population density, poverty rate) led to its resulting food waste generation and food rescue potential profile. For example, food waste is negatively correlated with population density at both the city and the household level, which may have implications for urban planning and development.

First-Ever Earthshot Prize Winners Announced

The City of Milan is among the first-ever winners of The Earthshot Prize, an initiative founded by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Milan won the "Build a Waste-Free World" category and 1.37 million dollars in prize money for its city-wide food waste policy initiative. In 2019, Milan launched its Food Waste Hub program, which includes three hubs throughout the city, to recover excess food from supermarkets and companies and distribute it to those most in need. Each Hub recovers about 130 tonnes of food per year or 350 kg per day, an estimated 260,000 meals equivalent. Learn more about The Earthshot Prize