The city council in El Paso, Texas., has approved a food waste prevention and recovery plan for the city.
The city is now tasked with developing a food waste reduction strategy by 2018. It already has some pilot programs in place. A local grassroots community group called EP Food picks up food that would otherwise go to waste and delivers it to emergency food programs.
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Nicolas Vasquez with EP FOOD said the initiative is also beneficial for businesses because they can get tax incentives.
The pilot program began with Victor's Produce.
"There were 2,000 pounds that could have gone to the landfill but instead it went to people that needed it," Vasquez said.
Diverting recovered food can also help address food insecurity in the community. That means a significant lack of access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods for a lot of El Pasoans, which contributes to poor diets and higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases.