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EPA Recognizes 26 Mid-Atlantic Colleges for Food Donation and Waste Diversion Efforts

Release Date: 11/19/2013
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 19, 2013) – Twenty-six colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic Region have joined EPA's Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) to date, including five schools that joined the challenge in the last month: Chatham University, University of Virginia, Towson University, Dickenson College and the University of Pittsburgh.

The Food Recovery Challenge encourages colleges, universities, and other organizations to donate and divert as much of their excess food as possible. Organizations that join EPA's challenge find that they not only save money, but they also feed the needy, and help protect the environment at the same time.

"The food donations to hunger-relief organizations made by colleges and other institutions can help the one in six Americans who don't know where their next meal is coming from," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "In addition to feeding the hungry, the food donations go a long way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering disposal costs for their campus. The Food Recovery Challenge is truly a win-win situation."

In 2011, the U.S. created more than 36 million tons of food waste, making food waste the #1 material sent to landfills. Once landfilled, food decomposes rapidly and becomes a major source of methane, a powerful and harmful greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Food waste generated by local institutions, hospitals, colleges, universities and restaurants is often actually safe, wholesome food that could feed millions of Americans, according to both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and EPA. EPA is working with institutions and hunger-relief organizations to increase food donations. Composting food waste also leads to important environmental outcomes. Composted food waste creates a valuable soil product that can be used to enhance the quality of soils.

Participating colleges and universities:
Mercyhurst University
Messiah College
Shippensburg University
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
Eastern University
Friends ‘ Central School, Wynnewood (Prep School)
Cabrini College
Keystone College
Millersville University
Ursinus College
Lehigh University
Franklin and Marshall College
University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown
Westminster College
Valley Forge Christian College
Juniata College
Chatham University
University of Virginia
Towson University
Dickenson College
University of Pittsburgh
James Madison University
Howard University
American University
Marshall University
West Virginia University

For more information on EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, go to: http://www.epa.gov/foodrecoverychallenge/

For more information on EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, go to: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/smm/index.htm