The City of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability will begin working alongside other innovative cities in the Southeast to develop and implement food waste initiatives. The City was selected as a participant in the Natural Resources Defense Council Food Matters Project. 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 City of Asheville has taken a holistic approach to disrupting food waste in our community,” said Mayor Esther Manheimer. “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.”
Up to 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted, contributing to extensive environmental, economic, and societal impacts. The Natural Resources Defense Council will work with each city to estimate their baseline food waste generation and food rescue potential. It will provide technical assistance on developing food waste strategies that help bolster food availability, sustainability and climate goals. By reducing the amount of food that is thrown out, cities can stabilize waste management costs and make progress toward climate and sustainability goals.
A key component of the Food Matters initiative is peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing — providing a network in which cities can learn best practices that can be shared and evolved. The initiative will include opportunities for participating cities to support and learn from each other and share successful strategies for on-the-ground project implementation.