Food Recovery Program Helping Feed the Hungry, Reduce Emissions

We join the call for decarbonization and seek to shine a light on a remarkably successful program that New York can build on.

Each year, approximately 100 billion pounds of all food produced, which equates to approximately 40%, is wasted. Food waste is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, as our food system accounts for almost a third of all emissions and 36% of methane emissions. Food waste also fails the nearly 3 million New Yorkers who suffer from hunger and food insecurity.

To sum up the problem: every pound of food that ends up in a landfill makes it harder for New York to fight hunger and meet its climate goals.

In January 2022, New York’s Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Act went into effect. The law requires food producers – defined as contributing more than two tonnes of wasted food per week – to segregate and donate edible food.

Since partnering with the State Department of Environmental Conservation and Feeding America, our team at Feeding New York State has worked with food retailers and producers to help hungry New Yorkers with excess food. – reducing food waste and food insecurity at the same time.

In the months since launching our food recovery program, we have managed to acquire over 444,000 pounds of edible food. According to data from ReFED, diverting these foods from landfills to our state’s food bank system reduced our state’s carbon footprint by more than 610 tons.

As Feeding New York State continues to partner with more food producers, we seek to bring forward an innovative agenda and show that it is possible to decarbonize and strengthen our food system at the same time.

Ryan Healey

Albany

Executive Director, Feed New York State

Ryan H. Bowman