How much salvaged fruit does it take to make smoothies for 5,000 people? We found out in May when we participated in Feeding the 5,000 NYC, an event to raise awareness about food waste.
In April, we returned to the Richmond International Raceway for a third time for a weekend of food waste diversion and recovery at the Toyota Owners 400, a NASCAR race. Coordinating food recovery at an event this size is a challenging task, but we learned lessons from two previous races in 2015 that have increased our efficiency — and the amount of food we were able to divert. The results demonstrate the important opportunity that large event venues have to reduce their environmental footprint and help those in the need in their communities.
Earlier this year, we launched I Value Food, a national campaign to help educate people about food waste and how to reduce it. Soon, we’ll be kicking off a project closer to home, here in Connecticut. We were just awarded a $25,000 grant from the EPA’s New England office to implement a Food: Too Good to Waste program with members of faith-based congregations in the Greater Bridgeport and Stamford areas.
The interest in food gardening is growing like, well, a weed. Many people who want to garden don’t have enough space or time to devote to it. At the same time, we have enough front and back yard space in America—10 million acres–to grow 43.5 million tons of food. Why not match up people who want to garden with people with available land? Thanks to technology, now we can!
On Superbowl Sunday, we partnered with a local culinary competition event to help them compost their food waste. We just learned that the event diverted more than four times as much waste to compost than last year’s event — that’s 2,840 pounds of food scraps and compostable items that are being recycled into a nutrient-rich soil supplement instead of being incinerated!
The numbers are one thing to celebrate, but Chilifest has also helped us reach an important milestone as an organization. We’re now equipped with the tools and expertise to help even more events around the country compost their food waste.