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THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

To: 
School Food Service Directors/Managers
From: 
Paula Tyner-Doyle, Coordinator
Date: 
Friday, April 26, 2019
Subject: 
USDA Launches Ace the Waste! Food Waste Contest for Students

Click here to be directed to USDA's website for full press release. 

Food waste is a problem everyone can tackle, including our nation’s youth. As part of Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is launching Ace the Waste! A student competition for food waste reduction ideas. This first-ever competition calls on students to come up with creative solutions to reduce food loss and waste in the United States.

The problem of food waste affects everyone. More than one third of food in the U.S. is lost or wasted. This amounts to 133 billion pounds, or $161 billion worth of food each year. Food is the single largest type of waste in landfills. Students age 11 to 18 are encouraged to submit proposals on reducing food loss and waste anywhere along the supply chain, from the farm to the dinner table and beyond. Topic ideas for the proposal include:

  • Preventing food waste - such as ideas to prolong the storage life of food; improve efficiencies in the processing of food and its distribution; and create new products from unharvested or unsold crops (like so-called “ugly fruit and vegetables”) or from food processing by-products.
  • Recovering wholesome, excess food to feed people – such as innovative approaches for getting excess food to people who need it and measuring the value of food donations.
  • Recycling food scraps to keep them out of landfills – such as ideas to connect food waste generators with recyclers and to create animal feed, compost, and energy.
  • Raising awareness – such as ideas about how to make students more aware about the amount of food being wasted and let them know how to reduce it.

Students may submit 1-2 page proposals or 1-2 minute videos. Proposals will be judged on impact potential; originality and creativity; clarity of expression; and adherence/appropriateness to theme. Judges will include representatives from USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One winner will be selected from each of two categories – ages 11-14 and ages 15-18. The winner of the challenge will be honored with recognition on USDA’s social media accounts and website, receive a certificate of appreciation, and will have the opportunity to discuss their proposals with USDA leadership.

The deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, May 24, 2019. Submit your ideas to the Ace the Waste! competition (PDF, 238 KB) today.

About the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative

The Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative is a collaborative effort among USDA, EPA, and FDA to affirm their shared commitment to work towards the national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030. The agencies agree to coordinate food loss and waste actions such as: education and outreach, research, community investments, voluntary programs, public-private partnerships, tool development, technical assistance, event participation, and policy discussion on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste.

During Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month and beyond, join the conversation on social media with the #NoWastedFood hashtag. Learn more about USDAEPA, and FDA programs and resources to reduce food loss and waste.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en:http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Spanish_Form_508_Compliant_6_8_12_0.pdf. y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; o

(3)     correo electrónicoprogram.intake@usda.gov.

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

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