NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is expanding its Food Matters Project in the MidAtlantic and Southeast regions with the goal of furthering larger-scale change related to food waste throughout those areas. Building on two years of partnership on the project, Baltimore will become the hub city for the MidAtlantic regional initiative and will be joined by Jersey City (NJ), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. In the Southeast, Nashville — where the Food Matters program has been active for 5 years — will become the hub city and will be joined by Asheville (NC), Atlanta, Memphis, and Orlando.
NRDC’s portfolio of work with cities includes original research estimating quantities and types of food wasted and opportunities to expand food rescue in U.S. cities; policies and programs for cities to tackle food waste; in-depth food waste initiatives with Baltimore, Denver, and Nashville; and an array of tools to help cities prevent food from going to waste, rescue surplus food, and recycle food scraps. Examples include: Implementing Mayoral restaurant challenges, training health inspectors to advocate for food waste strategies, and deploying Save the Food consumer education assets.
In the Food Matters Regional Initiative, NRDC and the participating cities will collaborate to implement policies and programs to reduce municipal food waste while leveraging regional synergies. Cities often confront similar barriers when tackling food waste, including insufficient data and resources. The initiative will include city representatives who will network with one another, with NRDC, and with local partner organizations to set goals, develop programs to achieve those goals, and identify regional strategies that help maximize their resources. NRDC will work with each city to estimate their baseline food waste generation and food rescue potential and to provide technical assistance on developing food waste strategies that help bolster their broader food systems, sustainability, and climate goals.