2019: DC Food Recovery Working Group’s Year in Review

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The DC Food Recovery Working Group had a busy 2019! Among our accomplishments:

We helped update food recovery legal  guidelines in DC
The DC Food Recovery Working Group worked with the Harvard Food Law & Policy Center to update a comprehensive guide to food donation in the District of Columbia. The Harvard Center took the lead on the DC Food Recovery Legal Guide, which includes information on tax incentives, liability protections, date labeling, food safety and food recovery in schools. The document was first published in 2017, but was updated to reflect the Save Good Food Act, which the DC City Council passed in 2018


We organized a number of food-waste-reducing events with local restaurants
RD19 Announce Graphic_Green Social copy

The DC Food Recovery Working Group’s signature restaurant event took place from July 13 to 20. During the week, about 15 restaurants highlighted dishes demonstrating creative ways to eat well while reducing food waste food waste. Find details on their amazing creations here.

Ticketed dinners
The DCFRWG’s RescueDish initiative also partnered with DC restaurants, particularly ANXO and Equinox, on ticketed events that highlighted creative ways to use ingredients that many home cooks toss. Events included:

February – NotWasted dinner at Equinox, with a panel including representatives from the World Wildlife Fund, Sodexo, the Ad Council (on behalf of SaveTheFood.com) and Together We Bake.

April – NotWasted Earth Day dinner. With chefs including: Todd Gray, Equinox Restaurant; Robert Wood, SuperFd & EcoCaters; Michelle Brown, Teaism; Gregory Payne, Sodexo; Chef Tee and students, from DC Central Kitchen.

July – Sustainable Super Club hosted by ANXO, with partners including Forested, Slow Food DC, Common Good City Farm, Rooftop Roots and the Accokeek Foundation. This event kicked off RescueDishDC. 


We put on the fourth annual DC Food Recovery Week

From Oct. 19 to 26,  the DCFRWG hosted trainings, classes, forums, and other food-recovery-themed events across the city. Hundreds of people attended events, which focused on topics ranging from composting to food science. Highlights included:

  • A tabling/tasting event hosted by Patagonia’s Georgetown location that drew more than 100 attendees, reaching an audience of people who were relatively new to the issue. 
  • A community composting forum organized in partnership with the DC Chapter of the Sierra Club
  • A happy hour at ANXO featuring upcycled cocktails and fried anchovy bones.


We helped recover A LOT of food!
Food Rescue Summer Meals at Turkey Thicket Rec Center

DCFRWG board member Kate Urbank coordinated the rescue of more than a million pounds of food as DC director of Food Rescue US. The national organization picks up surplus foods from restaurants and events and uses volunteer “food runners” to deliver it to nonprofits. The network of the DCFRWG has supported Kate’s efforts to build her donor and volunteer rosters since she launched several years ago. 

We actively engaged the community and spread the word about food waste reduction

In 2019, DCFRWG members appeared on podcasts and radio shows, testified and sent comments on legislation, helped train local residents as certified composters, advocated for waste-reducing policies across the DC government, sat on panels (like this one and this one) and took other steps to engage their communities and advocate for change. The group also provided a space where members could collaborate and share connections and resources to further food waste reduction in the region. 


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