In 2011 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) as a response to the incredible volume of food waste and wasted food destined for landfills. For EPA Region 4, the FRC launched within the hospitality sector in early 2014. The ZWA Blog article, EPA Food Recovery Challenge: Region IV launches FRC in hospitality sector, gives program details and an introduction to the food waste dilemma.
With Atlanta's rich history in food waste reduction, donation and recycling via the Zero Waste Zones 2009 launch and the numerous food donation programs, the EPA Region IV FRC launch within the hospitality sector is synergistic with well-established systems. Modeled after the EPA's Food Recovery Hierarchy, the FRC is a voluntary program. Participants pledge to provide a food waste baseline along with annual goals to prevent food waste, donate wasted food and | or recycle food scraps in a state-permitted non-landfill destination.
With strong connections to foodservice industry leaders, Ei joined the FRC as an Endorser, committing to recruit Program Participants as well as additional Endorsers.
In February, 2014 Ei Founder Holly Elmore and EPA Environmental Scientist Kim Charick embarked on a meeting | call marathon recruiting FRC Program Participants and Endorsers. It was empowering to reconnect with the early zero waste pioneers. Eager to join, the pioneers receive recognition for their impressive food waste practices and serve as role models for those new to donation and food waste collection programs. The ZWA Blog article, Ei Joins EPA Food Recovery Challenge, recaps the recruiting process while the Ei FB album, EPA Food Recovery Challenge, is a pictorial recount of the meetings.
Kudos to the following FRC Participants who said YES to joining the important program and taking a powerful stand on reducing food waste | donating waste food | recycling food scraps:
- Affairs to Remember
- Fifth Group Restaurants - Alma Cocina, Ecco, El Taco, La Tavola, Lure, South City Kitchen Midtown, South City Kitchen Vinings, and Bold American Events
- Georgia Dome
- Georgia World Congress Center
- HMSHost Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- HMSHost Concord Mills
- HMSHost Tampa International Airport
- Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute - Atlanta
- Ted's Montana Grill - 13 Atlanta locations
In addition, the following organizations pledged their FRC support as Endorsers:
... and the recruiting continues!
The following ZWA Blog articles are a sampling of Ei’s strong support of food waste reduction, donation and recycling programs:
- Reduce First, Donate Second & Compost Third, February 2011 – introduces the National Resources Defense Council food waste focus and features HMSHost – Tampa Airport’s impressive food donation program. The ZWA Blog most popular article with over 12,500 page views.
- Atlanta's Focus on Food Waste Reduction, June 2012 - gives an overview of a renowned author Elizabeth Royt’s Atlanta visit to meet the local wasted food warriors.
- Atlanta Wasted Food Heroes in National Spotlight, October 2012 – introduces the Martha Stewart Whole Living article Spoil Alert written by Elizabeth as a recap of her June visit.
- Food Waste, the business perspective, January 2013 – announces the CBS SmartPlanet article. For business, food waste is a ripe opportunity for savings, where Atlanta food waste heroes are featured from the business perspective of food waste reduction, donation and recycling.
- Bring the Possible Out of Impossible, March 2013 – gives an overview of the food donation & recycling practices implemented at the Sustainable Food Court Initiative – Concord Mills Pilot.
A ZWA Blog search on food waste lists a plethora of additional articles of Ei’s commitment to food waste reduction, donation and recycling.