The New York State Food Recovery Campaign

The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (NYSAR³) is currently leading a state-wide food recovery campaign to reduce wasted food, redirect surplus food to hungry New Yorkers, and to recycle remaining food scraps. 

Food Waste in America

In their 2012 issue paper, Wasted, 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, which is grown, processed, and transported only to be wasted in the end, a habit that costs Americans $218 billion annually. In addition to the negative environmental, natural resource, and economic impacts, 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 wasted, is enough to provide nourishment for more than 25 million Americans every year.

Strategies for Reduction & Donation

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 also 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 source reduction and donation. Some initial strategies include:  

  • Engaging various food and organics stakeholders throughout New York State.
  • Compiling state-wide wasted food information and creating educational tools and resources.
  • Connecting wasted food generators with food banks, food pantries, meal centers, and other emergency feeding programs.
  • Developing individualized action plans for each sector of food waste generators.

Join The Campaign

Minimizing wasted food will benefit New York’s economy, conserve environments and resources, and feed our fellow neighbors who lack access to fresh, nutritious food. To get involved, check out the campaign’s working groups and contact a chairperson for more information.