Utah’s Food Security Council Forms Workgroup to Reduce Food Waste

By Shelby Ruud | November 10, 2023


reducing food waste

Utah State University’s Food Security Council formed a food rescue workgroup to develop a statewide plan to reduce food waste and ensure that rescued food is accessible to those in need. The Food Security Council is a part of the USU Extension Hunger Solutions Institute. 

“One in 10 Utah households does not have access to sufficient food,” said Palak Gupta, co-director of the USU Hunger Solutions Institute. “Recent inflation and increased housing costs have placed an even greater burden on these households. Food rescue is a vital initiative that increases access to food for those in need.”

According to Gupta, as much as 40% of purchased food gets thrown away. Food rescue saves safe, edible food that would otherwise go to waste. 

The food rescue workgroup will learn from two nonprofit organizations that have successfully reduced food waste throughout Utah. The Green Urban Lunch Box focuses on growing, harvesting, and distributing nutrient-dense produce to the food insecure and hunger relief partners in the Salt Lake City area. Wasteless Solutions is a Utah nonprofit company committed to rescuing edible food and getting it to those in need.  

According to Gupta, the success of the food rescue workgroup will depend on the involvement of the community. 

“Community engagement in a food rescue program is a powerful catalyst for positive change,” she said. “It fosters a sense of collective responsibility and compassion and reminds us that tackling food waste is a team effort. Through active participation, communities become agents of change, contributing to a sustainable solution for food waste and insecurity.” 

Community members can get involved by attending the Food Security Council meeting on the third Wednesday of every month. The next meeting will be Wednesday, November 15, at 10 a.m. at the USU Davis County Extension building. A virtual option is listed on the website.

Community members can also volunteer or donate to Wasteless Solutions or the Green Urban Lunch Box.

The Utah State University Hunger Solutions Institute is an integrated academic, Extension, and community organization dedicated to generating educational and societal solutions to hunger. Click to learn more about the USU Hunger Solutions Institute.