Issues & Advocacy

Issue Brief

Food Waste

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates food waste in the United States to be about 30 to 40 percent of the food supply.

An estimated 133 billion pounds of food from stores, restaurants and homes was wasted in 2010, according to the USDA. The amount of uneaten food from homes and restaurants in 2008 was valued at $390 per consumer.

Most food that’s thrown away ends up in landfills, where it can have negative environmental impacts. Wasted food also can hurt a restaurant’s bottom line.

The NRA, with the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, has taken a leadership role in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, a cross-industry effort by restaurateurs, supermarkets, grocery stores and grocery manufacturers to define opportunities to reduce food waste. The organization aims to:

  • Reduce the amount of food waste
  • Increase donations of safe, nutritious food to those in need
  • Recycle unavoidable food waste, diverting it from landfills.

As part of its role in the FWRA, the NRA recently succeeded in getting Congress and the White House to encourage more food donation by permanently extending the enhanced tax
deduction for food donations by smaller corporations.


VISIT Food Waste Reduction Alliance
Contact Laura Abshire
Director, sustainability policy (202) 973-3964