In the United States, between 30-40 percent of food is wasted. This means that food that could have helped feed families in need is sent to landfills. Urban gardens can play a role in creating rich compost and improved soil quality from food waste. The best thing, however, is to reduce the food you waste in the first place. Learn how USDA is fighting food waste and how you can too.
All food grown in a People’s Garden at a USDA-owned, or leased, facility is donated to local food pantries, food banks, food rescue programs, kitchens, and shelters. Those growing food at other locations are encouraged to donate a portion of what’s grown to help those in need and reduce food waste. If you grow more than you need, donate it, don’t waste it!
Donations of food and grocery items to non-profits to feed needy individuals are covered by the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (Public Law 104-210). Unless there is gross negligence or misconduct on behalf of the donor, individuals and groups are not liable.
USDA and EPA created the food recovery hierarchy to show the most effective ways to address food waste.
Visit the USDA Food Loss and Waste webpage to find resources for farmers, businesses, consumers, schools and more!
Learn about food access challenges and solutions and how to donate food.
Learn about how your community can apply for USDA’s Composting and Food Waste Reduction Cooperative Agreements.