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Statements of Support for the School Food Recovery Act

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) along with Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) reintroduced the bipartisan School Food Recovery Act. The bill will create a new program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support schools working on food waste reduction projects.

Below are supportive statements on why we need the School Food Recovery Act. Read more about the bill here.

Kevin L. Sauer, a registered dietitian nutritionist and President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics thanks Rep. Chellie Pingree for introducing the School Food Recovery Act in Congress. Food waste is one of the most pressing nutrition-related issues in the United States. Ensuring that schools have sustainable programs that support efforts to eliminate food waste will have a ripple effect in communities across the country and throughout our entire food supply. The Academy asks all members of Congress to support this important bill.”

Curt Ellis, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FoodCorps: “Thank you Representative Pingree for tackling the issue of food waste across the educational system. Our work with school nutrition staff and other community partners shows that there is local drive and action around food waste in schools that can be further amplified by federal policy. This legislation complements FoodCorps’ ongoing efforts to provide food education to students of all socio-economic backgrounds, helping to build environmental stewardship among our future generation and further prevent nutritional value from being thrown into a landfill and instead, fuel children’s bodies and minds."

Emily Broad Leib, Director, Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic: 
“Reducing food waste is an important component in the fight against climate change, while also being a more efficient use of our natural resources and a way to save money and serve people. The rate of food waste at schools mirrors the rate of food waste by consumers, which is one of key places in the food system where food is wasted in the U.S. This legislation rightly targets school as one of the most effective leverage points to both prevent waste and educate students about the importance of viewing food as a vital resource. The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic offers its enthusiastic support for this grant program that would provide funding and support to schools to raise awareness and implement food waste measurement, prevention, and reduction programs.”

Yvette Cabrera, Director of Food Waste at Natural Resources Defense Council: “Schools and students have an important role to play in addressing climate change. The School Food Recovery Act provides critical support for food waste reduction solutions and student engagement. Coupled with ongoing investments to promote better food in schools, this bill can help sustain long-lasting change in schools and in generations of new eaters—serving as a seed of change for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Pete Pearson, Senior Director of Food Loss and Waste of the World Wildlife Fund: “We cannot tackle the biodiversity and climate crises without addressing the fact that 40 percent of food in the U.S. is lost or wasted. With an estimated 530,000 tons of food wasted in U.S. schools each year, lunchtime can be an excellent opportunity to educate students on this global problem. This important bipartisan legislation would go a long way toward helping lessons grow out of lunchtime, where students learn about the impact our food system has on the environment and how their communities can catalyze solutions. The more we can measure and report what’s not getting eaten in our nation’s schools and why, the more likely we will be able to reduce waste, benefiting both nature and our students.”

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