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Composters, Advocates for Ending Senior Hunger Join Forces to Solve Food Crisis

January 6, 2015

Bethesda, MD (January 6, 2015) — The US Composting Council and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) today announced a partnership to take to a wider audience the message of the connection between the growing problems of food waste and hunger among America’s seniors.

In commenting on the unusual alliance, Al Rattie, interim executive director, USCC, said “Our missions intersect: diverting resources that can contribute to world soil health, and ending food insecurity.”

NFESH Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Enid Borden agreed. “Food waste is a serious problem in this country, and it has serious consequences for the millions of seniors going without enough to eat as well as for the environment,” said Borden. “Here at NFESH we see the two problems – hunger and food waste – as having one solution.”

From a scientific and environmental perspective, food scraps are the final frontier in organics recycling, due to the challenges inherent in collecting and handling them. Advances in the U.S. composting industry mean more of these residuals are being manufactured into compost than ever before, returning them to the soil to grow more food. From an anti-hunger perspective, diverting food scraps from refuse to compost means cost savings, additional food and ultimately more meals for seniors in need. Working together, the USCC and NFESH will bring these perspectives together to accomplish the complementary goals of eliminating food waste and composting food scraps, improving soil health through compost and addressing senior hunger.

“Composting is a critical rung on the ladder of securing adequate food resources, because it is critical recapturing inedible food scraps to grow nutritious food through compost-enhanced soil,” Rattie said. “Compost is also part of the solution to the impact of climate change on world hunger by locking methane, a greenhouse gas.”

As the first formal activity of the new partnership Matt Levine, Chief Operating Officer of NFESH, will participate in a panel on organics programs at COMPOST2015, the USCC’s annual conference in Austin, Texas, in January. Levine’s presentation will focus on NFESH’s pioneering work through its “What a WasteTM” initiative, of introducing waste reduction, composting and growing practices into the daily operations of nonprofit senior nutrition programs.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to acquaint the composting industry with the issues that we in the anti-hunger world face,“ Borden said. “Once they hear our story, we are convinced that they will bring the same energy and dedication to assisting us in eliminating hunger as they do to addressing environmental concerns. That is a win for everyone.”

About National Foundation to End Senior Hunger

Through research, education and community partnerships the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger works to create the tangible and replicable solutions necessary to reverse the escalating number of seniors in the lifecycle of hunger.

About USCC

The US Composting Council, a national organization dedicated to the development, expansion and promotion of the composting industry, was established in 1990 to encourage, support and perform compost related research. USCC promotes best management practices, establishes standards, educates professionals and the public about the benefits of composting and compost utilization, and enhances compost product quality, and trains composters and compost markets. USCC members include compost producers, marketers, equipment manufacturers, product suppliers, academic institutions, public agencies, nonprofit groups and consulting/engineering firms.

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