Food waste happens. It happens at work, at home, in public, in private, by individuals, and by whole communities. Creating solutions to food waste requires interventions, collaborations, and innovations at every level of home, work, and community life. The City of Asheville, while not a stranger to supporting food waste reduction efforts, has recently increased its work on food waste reduction.
Through the Natural Resources Defense Council Food Matters Project, (https://www.nrdc.org/food-matters) the City of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability has begun working alongside other innovative cities in the southeast to develop and implement food waste initiatives. The “Food Matters Project” partners with cities to achieve meaningful reductions in food waste through comprehensive policies and programs. The City of Asheville joins Atlanta, Memphis, and Orlando in tackling food waste and attempting to minimize what goes into landfills and incinerators. The Food Matters initiative is expected to last through 2022 and plant the seeds for ongoing city and community projects.
Key strategies that the City of Asheville is pursuing include:
- Food Waste Reduction Month Proclamation for the month of April
- Snapshot Food Waste Audit initiative pilot project at city recreation centers
- Community compost drop-off site exploration and trial
- Public education campaign in partnership with Food Waste Solutions-WNC and other local organizations (www.wncfoodwaste.org)
According to Mayor Esther Manheimer, “The City of Asheville has taken a holistic approach to disrupting food waste in our community. We will continue to advance our values of environmental and social justice in making our city more sustainable in this continued effort with the Food Matters Southeast Regional Initiative.”
A core component of this work in the Office of Sustainability is collaborating with existing on-the-ground food waste reduction efforts. By partnering with community leaders, we hope to elevate and support the expansion of the inspiring organizations, individuals, institutions, and networks that have already been moving this work forward. To learn more about the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Food Waste Reduction Initiative visit: the webpage HERE.