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Food Saver Challenge

Mayor John Cooper, the Metro- Nashville Department of Public Works, and the Nashville Food Waste Initiative, are challenging local businesses to prevent wasted food, donate surplus food, and recycle their food scraps.

Please visit the Mayor’s Food-Saver Challenge Participation page to register and for more information about how restaurants, hotels, and other food service businesses can address food waste.

Currently, 40 restaurants have committed to taking on several food-saving actions on an ongoing basis. Actions include educating staff and customers on food waste reduction, donating surplus food to nonprofits, donating food scraps for animal consumption, and setting up processes to compost organic waste.

Participating in the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge has been shown to reduce the amount of food restaurants and grocers are sending to Middle Tennessee landfills, while helping to relieve hunger by donating wholesome, edible food to local nonprofits serving over 100,000 food-insecure residents in Davidson County.

Both the Nashville Food Waste Initiative and the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge focus on food waste strategies based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, which prioritizes wasted food prevention, then food rescue, then food scrap recycling as a strategic approach offering the greatest environmental, social and economic benefits.

Up to forty percent of all food in America goes uneaten, with 95 percent of that wasted food ending up in landfills or incinerators, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. In 2015, they selected Nashville as a national pilot city for developing high-impact local policies and on-the-ground actions to address food waste.

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