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Terminal Market Food Waste Challenge

Participation

The National Association of Produce Market Managers is a trade industry group of professional administrators of wholesale fruit and vegetable markets across the United States. Members of the association are interested in supporting the Department's efforts in the Food Waste Challenge by encouraging their membership to increase the diversion of fruits and vegetables from the waste stream into alternative uses through a friendly competition.
Participating market managers will provide firms operating in their markets with the opportunity to volunteer to sign up to reduce food waste and/or repurpose edible fruit and vegetables between March 29 and June 30, 2016.  Terminal Market Managers that wish to participate in the USDA Food Waste Challenge should communicate their intentions to Rose Harrell, President of the National Association of Produce Market Managers.  She will let USDA know which markets should be added to the USDA’s website.  Once USDA adds the terminal market name to the website, individual companies located at the terminal markets can sign up as described below.  The market with the most businesses signed up for the U.S. Food Waste Challenge will be declared the winner of the challenge in July 2016.

Where do I sign up for the U.S. Food Waste Challenge?

Businesses located at the terminal markets that want to participate in the food waste challenge should fill out and submit the participation form through the link below.  To join and support your terminal market in the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, complete the form with information about the activities/objectives your organization will undertake in the next year to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste in the United States.

Please view other participants at /oce/foodwaste/participants.htm

What are the benefits of participating?

Good publicity for your market and tenant firms!  Each market with participation will be listed on the U.S. Food Waste Challenge along with every company that signs up.  Show others in the industry that your organization is a steward of change and have the honor of being recognized by U.S. Department of Agriculture leadership for your participation.  Food donations can add up to big savings for the donors. Not only will participants reduce waste disposal costs, but donations are also tax deductible. Resources exist to help you track food donations and calculate the corresponding tax deductions (see Feeding America: Tax Benefits).  Participants are not required to make specific commitments related to how or how much they reduce food waste.  The objective of the food waste challenge is to highlight and support existing efforts to reduce food waste and encourage others to get involved.   The winners of the challenge will receive recognition from USDA leadership.

What can I do to reduce food waste?

The best way to fight food waste is not to create it in the first place through actions like improved inventory management, better storage and end-of-day discounts.  The second best is to make sure that wholesome food that is not sold is donated to hunger-relief organizations so that they can feed people in need.  Food that cannot be safely fed to people should be recycled into other products such as animal feed, compost and bioenergy. 

If you are interested in donating wholesome food, many resources exist to help you find a local food bank or food rescue program.

  • Feeding America is a national network of food banks that is the largest charitable hunger relief organization in America. It oversees the distribution of surplus food and grocery products through nearly 200 network affiliate food banks and nearly 50,000 charitable agencies.
  • Food Pantries allows you to search for food banks by state or by zip code.
  • AmpleHarvest.org - This nationwide effort aims to educate, encourage and enable gardeners with extra produce to easily donate to a local food pantry.
  • Society of St. Andrew - For over 30 years, Society of St. Andrew has worked with donors, volunteers, and farmers to glean nutritious excess produce from fields and orchards after harvest and deliver it to people in need across the United States.

For questions please contact:

Rose Harrell, National Association of Produce Market Managers, President at Rose at rharrell@mfca.info
Yowei Peralta, Senior Marketing Specialist, Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Division at Yowei.Peralta@ams.usda.gov