Don’t Waste Food SC is a collaborative outreach campaign that brings together ambassadors from the public and private sectors dedicated to sharing knowledge, coordinating resources and working together to reduce food waste in South Carolina.
Why food waste? Food is the No.1 item Americans throw away. Each year up to 40 percent of the nation’s food supply is never consumed – an annual loss of $218 billion. Wasted food also wastes resources. Any labor, energy, water, land and other resources used to produce, package and move food from the farm to our plates are lost.
All of this while more than 38 million Americans are food insecure. At home, one in nine South Carolinians including more than 600,000 children face hunger.
Food waste occurs at all steps of the farm-to-plate system. Fields are left unharvested and farmers cannot sell produce that doesn’t look perfect. Manufacturers face challenging assembly line inefficiencies. Transportation must move products quickly to avoid spoilage. Grocery stores overstock. Restaurants serve large portions and trash leftovers. At home, where most food is wasted, consumers plan poorly, buy too much and are often confused by date labels.
Still, food waste is a solvable problem. The goals of the campaign are to:
- Increase the awareness of the economic, environmental and social impacts of wasted food;
- Inspire individuals, communities, restaurants, caterers, hospitals, schools, colleges/universities and other organizations to take action to reduce food waste through prevention and donation and recover unwanted food through composting and other practices.
- Cut South Carolina’s food waste in half by 2030.
The campaign, created and led by DHEC, provides:
- Outreach and education material;
- Technical assistance through best management practices;
- Research and data;
- Coordinated planning with all stakeholders on steps to meet the 2030 goal; and
- Recognition of Ambassadors.
The campaign is a partnership of DHEC and the S.C. Department of Commerce as well as many Ambassadors. For more information, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I donate food?
Feeding the Carolinas provides a food bank finder.