In 2015, the NRDC launched a pilot program to study food waste at the city level in the form of the Nashville Food Initiative, which is now led by Urban Green Lab. This program has proven so successful that the NRDC is launching two regional initiatives with 10 participating cities!
Starting with the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, we are launching a Food Matters Regional Initiative, with the goal of furthering larger-scale change related to food waste at a regional level. From a pool of regional applicant cities, we selected five cities to participate in each regional initiative, including previous partner cities as “hub cities” in each region.
Cities often confront similar barriers when tackling food waste, including insufficient data and resources. Our cohorts will include city representatives who will network with one another, with NRDC, and with local partner organizations to set goals, develop workplans, and identify regional strategies that help maximize their resources. NRDC will work with each city to estimate their baseline food waste generation and rescue potential and to provide technical assistance on developing food waste strategies that help bolster their broader food systems, sustainability, and climate goals. The initiative will include convenings and networking opportunities for participating cities to support and learn from each other and share successful strategies for on-the-ground project implementation.
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