TDEC Will Host 2nd Annual Food Waste Awareness Week April 10-16

Wednesday, April 05, 2023 | 09:17am

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and partner agencies will host the 2nd annual Food Waste Awareness Week April 10-16. Gov. Bill Lee has issued a proclamation naming the week, which will feature numerous activities.

TDEC will partner with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; the University of Tennessee Extension; Clean Memphis; the Nashville Food Project; Tennessee Craft Brewers’ Guild; the Society of St. Andrew; and other organizations for a week of virtual and in-person education and outreach.

A statewide food drive in partnership with the University of Tennessee Extension runs through April 21 aimed at improving food security. Donation locations can be found at this link.

Food Waste Awareness Week will focus on raising awareness to the significance of food waste and encourage organizations to take action to reduce waste and increase food recovery and diversion. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food waste accounts for the largest percentage of what is thrown away in the United States.

“We appreciate our partners across the state in bringing awareness to the issue of food waste,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “It will take a comprehensive approach among government, business and industry, non-profits, and schools working together to make a difference. TDEC is proud to play a leading role in this effort.”

“No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do, food waste impacts us all,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Tennessee farmers keep us – and the rest of the world – fed. We all must do our part to make sure the food they grow isn’t going to waste. The Department of Agriculture is honored to support TDEC and so many partners to advance this critical initiative.”

Food Waste Awareness 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 the issue. The events will inform Tennesseans 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 family-friendly.

The program is part of a larger national Food Waste Prevention Week where other states across the nation are involved in various capacities. For more information on efforts in Tennessee please visit this link.

Throughout the year, TDEC provides education and outreach as well as technical assistance to organizations to address food waste through the Get Food Smart TN program. To learn more about the program, please visit