Practice Greenhealth and Feeding America Partner to Mobilize the Health Care Sector in Food Waste Reduction and Addressing Hunger

By PRACTICE GREENHEALTH STAFF on July 28, 2016

feeding americanPractice Greenhealth and Feeding America announced a new collaboration to help Americans living at risk of hunger. The nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization and leading health care sustainability membership organization have created a nationwide program to donate excess food from hospitals and health care facilities to local food banks.

“Building upon its commitment to improve the health of patients, staff and communities, Practice Greenhealth is teaming up with Feeding America to reduce food overproduction and waste and to encourage healthy food consumption, especially among those who need it most,” said Gary Cohen, president and founder of Practice Greenhealth.

Feeding America provides food and groceries to 46 million Americans, including 15 million children and seven million seniors. Because hospitals are located in every community in America—large and small, rural and urban—they can play a significant role in feeding the hungry and protecting the environment from methane gas in landfills, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Halving global food waste by 2050 could reduce GHG emissions by an estimated 4 ½ gigatonnes.

More than 70 billion pounds of food go to waste in this country each year. The Feeding America network of 200 food banks salvaged 2.6 billion pounds of safe and nutritious food in 2015 that would otherwise have been discarded. Feeding America will provide nearly 4 billion meals to low-income Americans this year, which is distributed through 6,000 food pantries’ meal programs.

To further raise awareness about food waste reduction and management among hospitals, Practice Greenhealth is launching the “Less Food to Landfill” toolkit to its over 1,200 hospital members nationwide, including a set of goals to set and measure against, a “get-started” guide, a five-part virtual peer learning series, case studies, posters, templates and presentations for members to use in achieving their goals.