EPA Recognizes 20 PA Colleges For Food Donation, Waste Diversion Efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Monday recognized 20 Pennsylvania colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic Region for joining EPA's Food Recovery Challenge.

Participating Pennsylvania schools include: Cabrini College; Chatham University; Dickenson College; Eastern University; Friends’ Central School, Wynnewood (Prep School); Franklin and Marshall College; Juniata College; Keystone College; Lehigh University; Mercyhurst University; Messiah College; Millersville University; Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; Shippensburg University; University of Pittsburgh; University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown; Ursinus College; and Valley Forge Christian College.

The Food Recovery Challenge encourages colleges, universities, and other organizations to donate and divert as much of their excess food as possible. Organizations that join EPA's challenge find that they not only save money, but they also feed the needy, and help protect the environment at the same time.

"The food donations to hunger-relief organizations made by colleges and other institutions can help the one in six Americans who don't know where their next meal is coming from," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "In addition to feeding the hungry, the food donations go a long way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering disposal costs for their campus. The Food Recovery Challenge is truly a win-win situation."

In 2011, the U.S. created more than 36 million tons of food waste, making food waste the #1 material sent to landfills. Once landfilled, food decomposes rapidly and becomes a major source of methane, a powerful and harmful greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Food waste generated by local institutions, hospitals, colleges, universities and restaurants is often actually safe, wholesome food that could feed millions of Americans, according to both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and EPA.

EPA is working with institutions and hunger-relief organizations to increase food donations. Composting food waste also leads to important environmental outcomes. Composted food waste creates a valuable soil product that can be used to enhance the quality of soils.

For more information, visit EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and Sustainable Materials Management Program.


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