Food Waste Prevention Awareness Event Premiers in Los Angeles

Local Partners & Elected Officials Discuss Food Waste Recovery & Reduction Efforts
Mar 8, 2018 10:00 AM ET
Article

LOS ANGELES, March 8, 2018 /3BL Media/ – The inaugural statewide Food Waste Prevention Week kicked off on Tuesday, March 6 with a press event hosted by local elected officials and key partner organizations at the World Harvest Center, a local food bank in South Los Angeles.

The goal of the Food Waste Prevention Week is to spread awareness on food waste and recovery prevention and build community-driven partnerships that champion Los Angeles’ ongoing environmental, equitable and economic goals. This event shined a light on the food recovery programs that have emerged from the recycLA program thus far, and where the program is going. There is still much work to be done and the public is invited to get involved and do their part to help reduce food waste.

Press Event participants included:

  • Heather Repenning, Vice President, Board of Public Works

  • Joel Jacinto, Commissioner, Board of Public Works

  • Clare Fox, Executive Director, Los Angeles Food Policy Council

  • Terry Gubatan, Business Development Loan Officer, Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corp.

  • Glen Curado, Founder, World Harvest

  • Tania Ragland, Republic Services

  • Family recipients of the food programs, to date there 300+ food bank agencies throughout Los Angeles benefiting from recycLA’s food waste and recovery programs

  • A representative from the Los Angeles Zoo (note: Republic Services is piloting a food sharing program with Los Angeles City Zoo and delivers 10 tons of surplus food per month to feed the animals. This is food that is deemed not acceptable for human consumption)

Every year, up to 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted, translating to $218 billion dollars lost in our economy. Think of it this way – if food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Los Angeles sends over 1 million tons of food to the local landfills each year.

But this paradigm is changing as organizations come together to ensure all communities have access to healthy food, grown and served with respect for the people and the earth, and no food is wasted.

Last year, the City of Los Angeles made bold moves to reform its waste collection services. Under the recycLA program, waste haulers partner with food recovery non-for-profit agencies throughout the City to encourage food businesses, such as grocery stores and restaurants, to donate safe, editable surplus food to hunger relief agencies and homeless shelters.

Since the inception of recycLA program, three food recovery organizations alone have recovered and donate an additional $1.1 million pounds of food to date, resulting in nearly that many additional meals being served to homeless individuals and low income families throughout in Los Angeles.

Many of the residents and businesses of Los Angeles are paying attention and are becoming increasingly aware of the food crisis. The recycLA program has created new and additional food recovery infrastructure and partnerships over the past year, and the City, along with the hauling companies, will continue to work to reach the immense and immediate needs in unprecedented ways.  

This is only the beginning. Together, the City, the hauling companies including Republic Services who participated in the Food Waste Prevention press event, and local community organizations and shelters are uniting to work toward ending food waste and helping to feed those families in need. 

The press event took place at World Harvest Food Bank at 3100 Venice Blvd. in Los Angeles.

If interested in learning more about the food waste prevention programs in Los Angeles, or would like more information on volunteering at one of the many food banks throughout the City, please contact Media@republicservices.com or World Harvest at glen@worldharvestfoodbank.org or maria@worldharvestfoodbank.org.