Who knew the term “Commercial Organics Waste Ban” could be so exciting? Well…it is! Why, you ask?
Well, on October 1st, 2014, Massachusetts implemented the most progressive commercial organics waste ban in the nation.
1 ton of food waste per week? No longer allowed.
According to the new law, any organization that disposes of more than 1 ton per week of organic waste will no longer be permitted to send that waste to landfill without being fined. This affects over 1,700 organizations in Massachusetts, including supermarkets, universities, hotels, hospitals, and others.
This is an incredible opportunity for food rescue.
This new law serves as a catalyst for change: organizations must now consider what to do with their food waste other than throw it in the trash. They can compost it, use it for anaerobic digestion, get it to animals OR—if Food For Free has anything to do with it—get that food to PEOPLE!
Now obviously not all food “waste” is edible, but we can guarantee much of it is not only edible but delicious AND nutritious. How do we know?
Food For Free: now rescuing prepared foods!
In June, we started a pilot for our new Prepared Foods Rescue program with Harvard University Dining services – a pilot which went live in 14 Harvard dining halls in September.
In this new program, Harvard freezes all of their un-served food at each meal and Food For Free picks it up for distribution.
Nutritious and delicious and reaching those who need it!
Food For Free’s partner organizations are helping us serve this wonderful food, making sure it gets to those who can benefit from it, including:
- families with school-aged children at ArlingtonEATS school-based pantry
- veterans served by the Massachusetts Bay Veterans Center in Somerville
- homeless & low-income women served by Rosie’s Place in Boston
- men and women affected by substance abuse served by CASPAR’s residential services in Cambridge
- homeless individuals & families being housed in motels served by Bread of Life’s Motel Meals Outreach in Malden
- homeless and recently homeless individuals served by Lowell Transitional Living Center
…and many more.
Looking forward to growth!
We look forward to to significantly growing our new prepared foods rescue program over the coming year to ensure that Massachusetts not only sets an example with its new food waste ban, but goes a step further by showing how such a ban can lead to hundreds of thousands of nutritious prepared meals finding their way into the bellies of those who most need them.
We look forward to keeping you posted in 2015!
Onward and upward, food rescue fans!