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City of Asheville Proclamation – April as “Food Waste Reduction Month”

The City of Asheville declared April as “Food Waste Reduction Month.” See the text below for the full proclamation and be sure to scroll to the bottom to see the one that was signed by our Mayor, Esther E. Manhaimer.

Whereas, North Carolina residents each annually generate significant amounts of food waste that could be reduced to improve environmental health and food access through strategic prevention, rescue, and recycling actions (247 pounds per person in NC[1] as compared to 219 pounds/person nationally[2]); and,

Whereas, there is an opportunity to redirect edible food to nourish our state’s residents with inadequate access to food from the 30-40% of the national food supply that is wasted[3], 55.9% of which was sent to landfills in 2018[4]; and,

Whereas, it is estimated that 57,500 tons of food waste are generated in Buncombe County each year; and,

Whereas, according to 2018 records, there were more than 31,000 food insecure individuals, including 8,120 children, in Buncombe County alone[5]; and,

Whereas, April is Earth Month and food waste reduction relates to conservation activities and helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions, with food waste itself comprising nearly a quarter of municipal solid waste landfilled[6]; and,

Whereas, North Carolina ranked tenth in the nation for food insecurity[7] (fifth for seniors[8] and twelfth for children[9]), particularly among minority and low-income populations, food recovery services can reduce food waste and improve food security for all ages throughout the state; and,

Whereas, we spend $218 billion or 1.3% of our national gross domestic product to grow, process, and dispose of food that is never eaten[10], reducing food waste can reduce economic loss; and  

Whereas, reducing food waste would help preserve our natural resources as food waste uses 21% of the country’s freshwater, 19% of our fertilizer, 18% of our cropland, and 24% of our landfill volume[11]; and 

Whereas, activities to reduce food waste can provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and farmers to sell otherwise unsellable products, and for the private composting industry to grow; and, 

Whereas, reducing food waste will impact greenhouse gas emissions, and support NC’s goal to reduce emissions by 40% by 2025, as directed by Executive Order No. 80: NC’s Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy[12]; and,

Whereas, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), Bountiful Cities, Food Connections, Katie Button Restaurants, Lenoir Rhyne University Asheville-Sustainability Studies, Manna Food Bank, Sage Nutrition Associates, The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village, and UNC Asheville Sustainability Council are local businesses and organizations actively engaged in food waste reduction work and support Food Waste Reduction month; and,

Whereas, the City of Asheville has adopted Resolution 17-257, re-establishing the City of Asheville’s Food Action PlanResolution 20-25, declaring a Climate Emergency and Resolution 11-77, committing to an annual 4% Carbon Reduction Goal; and,

Whereas, designating April as “Food Waste Reduction Month” would address these resolutions and move us forward to engage in food waste prevention and recovery efforts, develop and share food waste prevention and recovery best practices, and ground us in the traditions of food saving and composting.

Now, therefore, I, Esther Manheimer, Mayor of the City of Asheville, do hereby proclaim April as “Food Waste Reduction Month.”

________________________(signed)


[1] Food Recovery. NC DEQ. https://deq.nc.gov/conservation/recycling/organics-recycling-and-composting/food-recovery , accessed on Dec. 16, 2019. 

[2] U.S. Food Waste Challenge FAQ’s. USDA Office of the Chief Economist.https://www.usda.gov/foodwaste/faqs, accessed on Jan. 16, 2020.

[3] Food Waste and Loss. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/food-waste-and-loss, accessed on Dec 16, 2019.

[4] Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling. United States Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/food-material-specific-data, accessed on Jan. 16, 2020.

[5] Food Insecurity in North Carolina. https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2018/overall/north-carolina, accessed Jan. 5, 2021

[6] Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling. United States Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/food-material-specific-data, accessed on Jan. 4, 2021.

[7] Hunger and Poverty in NC. Feeding America. https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2017/overall/north-carolina, accessed on Dec.16, 2019. 

[8] The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2017”, Feeding America. https://www.feedingamerica.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/The%20State%20of%20Senior%20Hunger%20in%202017_F2.pdf, accessed on Dec. 16, 2019. 

[9] “Map the Meal Gap 2019”, Feeding America. https://www.feedingamerica.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/2017-map-the-meal-gap-full.pdf, accessed on Dec. 16, 2019. 

[10] About Food Waste. Move for Hunger. https://www.moveforhunger.org/food-waste, accessed on Dec. 16, 2019. 

[11] “What Environmental Problems Does Wasting Food Cause?” Forbes. Jul 18, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/07/18/what-environmental-problems-does-wasting-food-cause/#c1beee82f7a6, accessed on Dec. 16, 2019

[12] Executive order n°80; Roy Cooper.https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO80-%20NC%27s%20Commitment%20to%20Address%20Climate%20Change%20%26%20Transition%20to%20a%20Clean%20Energy%20Economy.pdf, accessed on Jan. 15, 2020.
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