Food Waste

France passed legislation that requires supermarkets to donate edible food that would otherwise be discarded to local homeless shelters and food banks. This inspired us to put together a policy order. We're asking the city manager to investigate the possibility of enacting similar legislation in Cambridge.

Whereas: According to the USDA, 31% of all food that is produced in the U.S. is wasted and of that 31%, 10% of the waste comes from the retail level and 21% comes from the consumer level; and

Whereas: According to the USDA in 2010, U.S. supermarkets threw out 43 billion pounds of food, amounting to $46.7 billion of waste; and

Whereas: 25% of the U.S. emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas, has been linked to landfills with rotting food waste. A reduction in supermarket food waste would also help deal with the issues of environment and climate change; and

Ordered: Implementing a law requiring supermarkets to donate leftover food to donation centers could help deal with both issues of climate change and food justice; therefore be it

Ordered: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with relevant City staff or the appropriate departments on the feasibility and effectiveness of legally requiring supermarkets to donate leftover food to donation centers in order to cut down on food waste; and be it further

Ordered: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the city council on this matter.

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