DHEC, Upstate agencies partner for 'Don’t Waste Food SC' campaig - FOX Carolina 21

DHEC, Upstate agencies partner for 'Don’t Waste Food SC' campaign.

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DHEC says South Carolinians throw away 640,000 tons of food each year (Source: DHEC) DHEC says South Carolinians throw away 640,000 tons of food each year (Source: DHEC)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Food banks, Greenville County, and DHEC are teaming up to combat food waste during the “Don’t Waste Food SC” campaign.

DHEC said food is the number one item thrown away in the United States, and in South Carolina alone, people throw out 640,000 tons of food each year, all while nearly 800,000 South Carolinians have trouble obtaining enough food.

Partnering agencies will meet and discuss the "Don't Waste Food SC" campaign Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Greenville. Bob Mihalic, spokesman for Greenville County, said the partners will announce and elaborate on extensive plans to work together to connect food surpluses to those with deficits. 

“Reducing food waste is good for the economy, the environment, and our communities,” said Catherine Heigel, Director of DHEC. “The Don’t Waste Food SC campaign is building awareness and partnerships to help our state make a collective impact on this important issue.”

DHEC said the campaign focuses on three ways people can reduce their food waste: prevention, donations, and composting. Below is information on each topic from DHEC:

PREVENTION

The “Don’t Waste Food SC” initiative is designed to increase awareness of the economic, environmental and social impacts of food waste through outreach, education and technical assistance.

“More than just a way to protect the environment and preserve our plentiful natural resources, reducing the amount of food waste in South Carolina can have a significant economic impact,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “I encourage every business operating within our state to help us promote both environmental and economic sustainability by composting or donating surplus food.”

SC DHEC provides tools and information, and local organizations, like Loaves & Fishes, Atlas Organics, and Greenville County Solid Waste are prepared to assist whenever possible.

DONATIONS

Loaves & Fishes works daily to rescue food that would be wasted and delivers it free of charge to human service agencies that feed the hungry.  “We are excited to be involved with a statewide effort to eliminate food waste.  In 2016, Loaves & Fishes successfully rescued surplus food to feed over 560,000 people through our agency partnerships,” said Paulette Dunn, Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes. 

COMPOSTING

Since May of 2016, Atlas Organics, a private business working in partnership with Greenville County Solid Waste, has been recycling food waste at the County’s Twin Chimney Landfill.  The recycled materials are a valuable soil amendment to local and regional farmers and landscapers. “The momentum and awareness of the campaign's tagline,"prevent, donate, compost," highlights the proper order for dealing with this global issue," said Jim Davis, Atlas Organics.

Greenville County’s support of “Don’t Waste Food SC” includes education, support and action.  “We should be feeding people, not the landfill,” says Marcia Papin, Greenville County Solid Waste. “Preventing, donating and composting can help us keep waste out of our landfill, feed hungry people and supply valuable nutrients back to our soil.”

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