New York State Food Recovery Campaign is a state-wide initiative to reduce wasted food, redirect surplus food to hungry New Yorkers, and to recycle remaining food scraps.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that approximately 40 percent of food in the United States is never eaten. That’s an estimated 63 million tons of food per year. Food that is grown, processed, and transported around the country to ultimately end up in a landfill. This wasteful behavior costs Americans $218 billion on an annual basis, not including the negative environmental and natural resource costs (RedFED, 2016). Furthermore, excessive food waste is all the more inadmissible considering the fact that one out of every six Americans lack stable access to food. Redirecting 15 percent of food, that would otherwise be landfilled, would be enough to provide nourishment for more than 25 million Americans.

In accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s food recovery hierarchy, the New York State Food Recovery Campaign is prioritizing the source reduction of wasted food and the feeding of hungry people with surplus food. The campaign strives to engage stakeholders across the state in order to better understand the root causes of wasted food as well as to collaboratively develop strategies for increased source reduction and donation.

Gunders, Dana & Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). (2012). “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill”. Rethinking Food Waste Through Economics and Data (ReFED). (2016). “A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste by 20 Percent”.

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