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Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Feed the People - Public/Private Collaboration Results in a 30 Percent Increase in Food Rescued in Vermont

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Thursday, May 26, 2016 1:00pm - 2:30pm ET

Through innovative partnerships and collaborative projects Vermont has seen a 30% increase in food rescue over the past year with 2016 estimates expected to be even higher. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first ever domestic goal to reduce food loss and waste by half by the year 2030. In the United States, food is the largest stream of discarded materials, accounting for 21 percent of the American waste stream. In 2013, only five percent of the 37 million tons of food waste generated, was diverted from disposal. The impact of this wasted food is even more troubling considering the 48 million Americans, one in every seven people, live in a food insecure household. USDA’s Economic Research Service has estimated that in the baseline year of 2010, food loss at the retail and consumer levels was 31 percent of the food supply, equaling 133 billion pounds and $161.6 billion. This webinar will highlight a public/private/Non-for-Profit collaboration that is tackling the issue of wasting food in Vermont. Join Feeding America, the Vermont Food Bank, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Hannaford Supermarkets who will present their collaboration, programs and the data that measures their success.

YouTube Video: Feed the People - Increase in Food Rescued in VermontExit

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Eric Davis, Feeding America
Eric Davis pictureEric Davis is the Managing Director of Retail Product Sourcing and works with national retail and foodservice donors to create donation programs that can be replicated throughout the donor’s organization. These programs represent Feeding America’s largest donation channel and provide local Food Banks with safe, wholesome products. In addition, Davis works with Manufacturers and Retailers providing information and feedback on donation polices and public policies relating to product donations, which streamlines his work between Donors, Food Banks, and Industry Leaders. Davis has over 39 years of experience in the food industry: 18 years in the retail grocery business with The Kroger Company, 4 years in return goods processing and 17 years with Feeding America.

Bryn Oakleaf, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Bryn Oakleaf picture
Bryn Oakleaf is an Environmental Analyst in Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources – Waste Management and Prevention Division. Her work with ANR primarily is focused on implementing the Universal Recycling Law (Act 148) which was adopted in 2012. Act 148 established phase-in requirements for diverting food scraps from the landfill beginning with the largest generators (104 tons per year) in 2014 to a full landfill ban in 2020. Oakleaf’s work focuses on the top portion of the food recovery hierarchy to prevent wasted food and to capture available food for people before it is discarded. Through innovative partnerships and collaborative projects Vermont has seen a 30 percent increase in food rescue over the past year with 2016 estimates expected to be even higher.


Mica Seely – Vermont Foodbank
Mica Seely pictureMica Seely is the Food Procurement Coordinator at the Vermont Foodbank. In her role at the Foodbank, Mica is part of the team implementing Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, Act 148. Mica has helped to train and support 40 food shelves and countless volunteers who are now rescuing food from 45 retailers across our rural state. Since the law’s enactment in July 2014, Mica has helped to rescue nearly two and a half million pounds of perishable food that has been made available to thousands of Vermonters in need of food assistance.


Ben Theriault, Hannaford Supermarket
Ben Theriault picture
Ben Theriault is the Director of Retail Operations for Hannaford Supermarkets in Vermont. He has held positions in retail leadership, supply chain and category management in 14 years in the food retailing industry. He is a board member of the Vermont Food Bank as well as a board member of the Vermont Retailers and Grocers Association.


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