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National Restaurant Association - NRA joins Food Waste Challenge

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NRA joins Food Waste Challenge

The National Restaurant Association and other members of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance have joined the Food Waste Challenge initiative, a program created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce, recycle and recover food waste across the country.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and EPA acting administrator Bob Perciasepe launched the program during a June 4 event at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“We’re here today to say that we at the USDA want to be a partner in this,” Vilsack said. “This is what it’s really all about: the government working with the private sector to come up with solutions to this problem … Food waste is one of the largest [components] of solid waste in landfills.”

The Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which is composed of members of the National Restaurant Association, the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, attended the event and offered its full support of the initiative.

“The Food Waste Reduction Alliance is pleased to join the USDA’s Food Waste Challenge as a founding partner,” the group said. “This is a natural extension of the FWRA’s mission, which is to reduce the volume of food waste sent to landfill by addressing the root causes of waste within our operations, and securing pathways to donate safe, nutritious food or recycle unavoidable food waste.”

The Food Waste Challenge’s mission is to reset the way the United States manages food and food waste. The USDA and EPA have set a goal of doubling their number of partner organizations to 400 by 2015 and 1,000 by 2020.

As part of the challenge, the USDA and EPA said they would work to:

  •  Reduce food waste from the USDA’s school lunch program
  •  Educate consumers about food waste and food storage, and
  •  Develop new technologies to reduce food waste.

“We look forward to working with the USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” the FWRA said. “On behalf of the companies and industries we represent, [we] respectfully acknowledge the important work of these agencies and all of the public-private partnerships focused on the common goal of reducing food waste.”

To join the Challenge and learn more about the activities of those who have already joined, visit: www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/index.htm.

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