EPA teams up with religious groups to reduce food waste

Food waste piles up in this dumpster in Vacouver, British Columbia. (Flickr)
Food waste piles up in this dumpster in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Stephen Rees/Flickr)
Nick Fetty | January 20, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is teaming up with religious groups of all faiths to redirect food on to the plates of the hungry as opposed to landfills.

EPA unveiled the Food Steward’s Pledge on Monday. Not only would this initiative help to feed the hungry but it would also reduce the amount of organic waste in landfills which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that in 2013, 14.3 percent of households in the U.S. did not have regular access to enough food for an active and healthy lifestyle. Additionally , the United State Environmental Programme estimates that 870 million malnourished people worldwide could be fed by wasted food.

“Faith communities exemplify caring for the well-being of all people and are leaders in being responsible stewards of our resources for current and future generations,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a press release. “Reducing, donating, and composting excess food is a triple win that protects the environment, cares for the global human family, and saves organizations and Americans money.”

More than 1200 calories of food is wasted per person per day in the U.S. which amounts to roughly $1,600 per year for a family of four.

This initiative is part of a bigger plan by EPA and USDA to cut food waste in half by 2030.

To sign the Food Steward’s Pledge, click here.