The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) kick off Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month by calling for greater collaboration with public, private and nonprofit partners as well as state and local officials to educate and engage consumers and stakeholders throughout the supply chain on the need to reduce food loss and waste.
In the U.S., more than one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste. Food is the single largest type of waste in daily trash. When food is tossed aside, so, too, are opportunities for economic growth, healthier communities and environmental prosperity, but that can change through partnership, leadership and action, according to the agencies.
The federal announcement follows a message from President Donald Trump acknowledging the month of April as Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month and encouraging public action and participation from all sectors.
"USDA alone cannot end food waste, it will require partners from across the supply chain working together on innovative solutions and consumer education,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a statement. “We need to feed our hungry world and by reducing food waste, we can more wisely use the resources we have. I am pleased President Trump identified this issue as one of importance, and I look forward to USDA's continued work with our agency partners at EPA and FDA to change behavior in the long term on food waste."
"Reducing food waste and redirecting excess food to people, animals or energy production provide immediate benefits to public health and the environment. I am proud to join President Trump and my federal partners in recognizing April as Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement. "We are working closely with our federal partners and stakeholders across the nation to reduce the amount of food going to landfills and maximize the value of our food resources."
As part of the month's observances, on April 9, EPA will host a livestreamed event with USDA and FDA. Additional joint agency actions will be announced at the event regarding the Winning on Reducing Food Waste initiative. At the event, a panel of food waste stakeholders will share how state and local communities can join the federal government in reducing food waste and loss.
"With one in six people getting a foodborne illness every year in the U.S. and up to 40 percent of food left uneaten, it's understandable why food safety and food waste are major societal concerns," said FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas in a statement. "The FDA is working to strengthen its collaboration and coordination with the EPA and USDA to strategically align our federal efforts between the two issues to better educate Americans on how to reduce food waste and how it can be done safely."
USDA, EPA and FDA invite public and private partners to participate in Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month through the following:
- Join the conversation: Share food waste efforts with the #NoWastedFood hashtag in social media posts throughout the month.
- Educate the community: Learn about USDA, EPA and FDA programs and resources to reduce food loss and waste.
- Be a U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion: Join other corporate and business leaders who have made a public commitment to reducing food loss and waste in their U.S. operations by 50 percent by the year 2030.