The Town of Mamaroneck has been awarded a pioneering three-year grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to fund a public outreach and education campaign aimed at reducing wasted food. Together with the Town, the Villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck and the Mamaroneck Union Free School District are promoting the importance of eating the food we buy, sharing the excess with those in need, and composting what is left – all of which will help conserve resources and slow climate change. To find out more, go to the new online destination, www.LoveYourFoodNY.org. There will also be volunteers at the Love Your Food table at the Down to Earth Farmers Market in Larchmont on December 14th, 8:30-11:30am, to provide information and answer questions.
Love Your Food addresses a pervasive issue in our community and our society. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nearly 40% of the food available in the United States ends up in the waste cycle -- approximately a pound per person per day -- even as one in eight Americans face hunger. Purchasing food we do not eat, neglecting leftovers, rejecting less than perfect-looking produce, or scraping oversized portions off plates into the kitchen garbage are among the factors that cause 150,000 tons of food to end up in the trash every day. Not only does this waste household budgets and natural resources, it also contributes to climate change due to greenhouse gases that are emitted as food decays in landfills or is burned in incinerators.
Love Your Food is built around a three-phase approach to help us be more mindful about our food consumption. This process, Eat * Share * Compost the Rest, encourages us to enjoy more of the food we buy, re-direct excess food to people in need, and repurpose food scraps to create nutrient-rich compost that helps grow more food.
Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson shares, “I’m excited that we are one of two municipalities in Westchester County to be awarded this grant to engage residents in reducing food waste. It has the potential to accomplish important results by enabling every member of our community to take an active role in advancing the well-being and quality of life for residents and neighbors of our Tri-Municipal area.”
Love Your Food is a natural extension of other sustainability efforts already taking place within the Larchmont and Mamaroneck communities and the Mamaroneck School District.
Nearly 1,000 households are repurposing their food scraps by bringing them to the Maxwell Avenue and Fayette Avenue recycling facilities to be turned into compost at an off-site composting facility.
All the Mamaroneck School District’s elementary schools and Hommocks Middle School as well as the French American School of New York (Larchmont campus) and Saints John and Paul School include food scrap recycling in their cafeterias, which is later transported for composting.
Greenburgh Nature Center is providing training and education on food scrap recycling and its connection to mitigating climate change to students, faculty, and staff in the Mamaroneck School District.
The Mamaroneck School District’s food recovery and sharing program collects wholesome, unused food placed by students in rescue bins and excess food in the cafeterias to distribute through neighboring, community organizations.