Grocers Win Regional Recognition for Food Recovery Efforts

Grocers Win Regional Recognition for Food Recovery
Proteins rescued through Giant Food Stores' long-running Meat the Needs program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has presented regional awards to 99 Ranch Market Store 3, 168 Market Store 806, Giant Food Stores, Golub Corp. (Price Chopper/Market 32), Ravitz Family Markets/Price Rite Supermarkets Inc., and various Sprouts Farmers Market stores for their sustainable retail commitment and food recovery achievements as part of the government agency’s Food Recovery Challenge program.

The regional breakdown was as follows:

EPA’s Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

New York: Golub Corp. (Price Chopper/Market 32)

A store Fresh Recovery program involves more than 13,000 associates in collecting tons of nonsaleable but edible fresh food for Feeding America foods banks, providing millions of meals to the needy. 2017 fresh recovery results reflect an increase of 18 percent from 2016. Food salvage and produce spoils are also donated to local farmers for use as animal feed.

New Jersey: Ravitz Family Markets/Price Rite Supermarkets Inc.

From 2016 to 2017, Ravitz’s Camden, N.J., Price Rite store increased the tonnage of food diverted from a landfill by 21 percent through both donations to those in need and composting. The company is a member of the Wakefern Food Corp. retailer cooperative, whose members operates stores primarily under the ShopRite banner.

EPA’s Region 3: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia

Pennsylvania: Giant Food Stores LLC

Giant, which created the innovative charitable meat rescue program Meat the Needs in response to the 2008 recession, donated 3,922,000 pounds of meat and other food items last year to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank — equal to 3,268,333 meals served — and is looking expand its store food donation program so that all departments can participate, in line with its commitment to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2025. Giant also implemented a new recycling program to redirect even more food from the waste stream by anaerobically digesting its food waste, enabling it to divert 77 percent of its total food waste from landfills and incinerators, and saving each of its stores an average of $1,600. The chain is currently working on a solution to analyze its food waste and further reduce its food waste.

EPA’s Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

Texas: Sprouts Farmers Market Store No. 126

Through its Food Rescue and Animal Feed recycling programs, Sprouts Store No. 126, in Dallas, donated 83 tons of food to hungry families and 18 tons to feed livestock. The Food Rescue program’s established procedures allow the store to donate unmarketable — but still edible and nutritious — food directly to community members who need it most, while food that isn’t fit for donation goes to local cattle ranches and dairy farms.

EPA’s Region 9: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau

California: 99 Ranch Market Store 3; 168 Market Store 806; Sprouts Farmers Market Store Nos. 207, 211, 212, 221, 222, 227, 235, 242, 243, 245, 246, 248, 251, 255, 257, 262, 268 and 280

99 Ranch Market Store 3’s food recovery program consists of donation and recycling. The Rowland Heights store donates grocery and produce items, via Feeding America, that are nearing their best-by dates, including canned goods, in addition to fruit such as papayas, plums, apples, melons and bananas. Wasted food is also anaerobically digested at the waste hauler’s anaerobic digester.

Fellow Asian specialty grocer 168 Market Store 806, in Hacienda Heights, focuses on anaerobic digestion. By sending its food waste to an anaerobic digester, the amount of food waste diverted from landfills more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, from 76 tons to 169 tons.

This past year, the 18 California Sprouts stores listed above donated 695 tons of surplus food to feed hungry people and sent 659 tons of food waste to farm animals. The locations also helped to improve soil quality by diverting 793 tons of food trimmings and scraps to composting facilities. The 18 stores combined kept 2,147 tons of wasted food out of landfills, helping their communities and the environment.

Additionally, Sprouts Store No. 256, in Tustin, Calif., received a national Food Recovery Challenge Award from the EPA.

Ahold Delhaize USA, parent company of Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant Food Stores, is No. 4 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States, while Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern, the owner of Price Rite, is No. 7; Phoenix-based Sprouts is No. 22; and Schenectady, N.Y.-based Golub is No. 24.

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