TDEC To Host State's Inaugural Food Waste Awareness Week April 4-9

Thursday, March 17, 2022 | 11:14am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and partner agencies will host the state’s inaugural Food Waste Awareness Week April 4-9 through TDEC’s Get Food Smart TN program.

TDEC will partner with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension, Clean Memphis, The Nashville Food Project, the City of Knoxville, green|spaces, the Society of St. Andrew and other organizations for a week of virtual education and outreach. The effort will focus on awareness of the significance of food waste and encourage organizations to take action to reduce waste and increase food recovery and diversion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste accounts for the largest percentage of what is thrown away in the United States. 

“We are excited to partner with organizations across the state to bring awareness to this issue,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “Businesses and community partners are taking steps to make a difference. Together, we will share tips that can help households reduce food waste and save money.”

“Anytime we work together on food issues, it’s beneficial for everyone,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Bringing awareness and working together are essential in finding and employing remedies for food waste. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is proud to support hunger relief efforts and the food waste initiative will continue that legacy.”

The Food Waste Awareness Week will consist of daily themes centered on strategies for addressing food waste with tips, resources highlighting best practices, a daily food hero photo challenge, and a statewide food drive for hunger relief.

The week will culminate with End Food Waste TN events in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville at local breweries. Brewers are partnering with local bakeries to take unsold bread and turn it into a brew to raise awareness about food waste. The events will inform local citizens about the importance of reducing food waste, increasing food recovery, and other strategies. All events for the week, both virtual and in-person, are free, open to the public and intended to be family-friendly.

Other states hosting Food Waste Awareness Week April 4-9 include Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. For more information on efforts in Tennessee please visit this link.