How to Participate
On this page, you can find the requirements for participation in the Challenge, as well as resources to help you fulfill these requirements or reduce food waste on your own.
Requirements for PArticipation
Register by filling out an introductory survey that asks you to explain briefly how you plan on meeting the Challenge.
Implement or expand a minimum of five of the food saving practices listed below in your business. You may include practices that you used prior to the Challenge, but at least one new practice must be adopted for the Challenge.
Twice per year (in January and July), complete a follow-up survey that will be emailed to you.
Food Saving Practices
The best way to reduce the impacts associated with food waste is to prevent wasting food - prioritize these practices in your business. The next most important strategy is to donate surplus food to organizations that can direct it to hungry people in need. Finally, after maximizing prevention and donation strategies, direct any remaining food scraps to animal feed, compost, or anaerobic digestion. See EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy (below) for more information.
To participate in the Challenge, commit to implement or expand at least five of the following food-saving practices in your business. The Resources section of this page contains more information and guidance on these practices.
Reduce / Prevent Wasted Food
Measure back of house and/or front of house food waste (this can be as simple as separating food waste into a bucket and counting number of buckets generated each day for a week every month – or check Food Saver Reduction / Prevention section of this page for information on other measurement tools)
Adopt new practices for food purchasing, storage and right-sized cooking quantities to minimize waste; if possible, track any changes in amounts of food purchased.
Utilize foods that might otherwise go unused (like imperfect fruits and vegetables and unusual plant parts) and take “nose to tail” approaches with animal products; record any new or modified recipes.
Creatively re-purpose surplus foods and record any new or modified recipes.
Offer more flexible portions (like smaller portions, half-size options, etc.).
Cook in small batches and/or cook to order.
Make side dishes and bread optional for your customers.
Actively encourage use of appropriately sized “to-go” containers.
Educate your consumers by participating in the Save The Food campaign.
Engage your staff through training on food waste reduction and food donation, and through recognition for practices that reduce food waste.
Enlist at least three other businesses to sign up for the Challenge.
Other: since you know your business best, adopt other changes that reduce wasted food in your facility.
Donate Surplus Food
Set up a donation partnership with a local charitable donation and make regular donations. To the highest degree possible, keep track of how much and how often you are donating. (Tracking your donations also allows you to get the fullest tax deduction for donating.)
See the Resources section for help with donating.
Recycle Food Scraps
Recycle food scraps by composting them (compost on-site, deliver to The Compost Company, or contact a local hauler for pickup services). Keep track of how much you compost or, if you use a hauler, ask them to do so for you.
Donate or sell food scraps for animal consumption (for instance, Walden's Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center will accept raw produce, raw meat, and uncooked dairy products, and some area hog farms may accept baked goods and other foods) and keep track of how much and how often you donate.
See the Resources section for help with recycling food scraps.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed a common-sense approach prioritizing best practices in food waste diversion. The best way to reduce the impacts associated with food waste is to prevent wasting food – prioritize these practices in your business. The next most important strategy is to donate surplus food to organizations that can direct it to people in need. Finally, after maximizing prevention and donation strategies, direct any remaining food scraps to animal feed, compost or anaerobic digestion. Visit EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy for more information.
Reducing and Preventing Wasted Food
Donating Surplus food
Here are some resources that can coordinate pickup and delivery, work with you to address other logistical questions, and even provide information on tax incentives:
The following links contain information that may help you donate surplus food:
Recycling Food SCraps
The following companies offer compost pick-up services in Nashville and can work with you to establish a composting system that works for you:
Compost Company (discount for challenge participants)
Compost Nashville (first month half off for new members participating in Challenge)
Earth Savers (fourth month free for new members participating in Challenge)
Eternal Returns (first month half off for new members participating in Challenge)
For more information or for assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.