The Iowa Waste Reduction Center is excited to announce the Regional Partnership for Food Waste Solutions, a USDA food waste grant program that we began work on in 2021. The goal of this project is to decrease the amount of food waste discarded in landfills through the facilitation of partnership building at a regional level. Building partnerships has the capacity to increase available opportunities that divert food waste from the landfill and also increases community engagement to address issues associated with food waste as well as available solutions. We look forward to achieving this goal by providing webinars and virtual meetings for key food waste stakeholders in four select regions throughout the Upper Midwest. Additionally, regional participants will have the opportunity to receive training that helps divert food waste from the landfill. The Regional Partnership for Food Waste Solutions is providing assistance in four regions in the Upper Midwest that includes portions of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. 

Here is what you can expect from this project. There will be training opportunities which cover four key topics regarding the implementation and regulation of food waste strategies. These four training topics include:
    •    Non permitted composting regulations that correlate to each participating state’s requirements as well as best management practices to keep composting operations active. 
    •    Information regarding cafeterias interested in diverting edible food scraps through the implementation of share tables, partnership building when donating, and liability protection. 
    •    Federal and participating state’s regulatory requirements when feeding animals (swine/ruminants) food scraps.
    •    Tax incentives available to food donors and guidance for receiving them.

In addition to training, the Regional Partnership for Food Waste Solutions will be creating and distributing window clings and certificates of participation aimed to encourage participation in the reducing and preventing food waste in landfills. Additionally, the IWRC will be developing a customized action plan for each regional that will include recommended strategies for reducing food waste; a list of local food donation opportunities, composting facilities, and anaerobic digesters; as well as all four training guides developed by the IWRC


Another important aspect of this project includes hosting no less than 2 virtual meetings for each of the 4 regions included. The initial meeting will include relevant stakeholders like Food Waste Generators (schools, restaurants, etc.), Waste Managers/Recyclers, Food Diverters, and Municipal Leaders and Local/Regional Government. At this meeting, the IWRC will discuss the EPA’S food recovery hierarchy, issues surrounding food waste, and diversion strategies. The second meeting will focus on teamwork and partnership building which will help to promote the implementation of food waste reduction projects. The meetings will also provide the opportunity for stakeholders in the region to request on-site training for further assistance.

The final goal of this project will be to expand online educational tools and reach of the IWRC. All four training guides along with fact sheets will be available for easy download on our website. Additionally, a geographic information system (GIS) map will be housed on the IWRC website to showcase all participating regions and stakeholders.

Our very first training guide as described above can be found here.

This project aims to reduce the large amounts of food waste that are being put into landfills, and here at the IWRC we are taking great strides in ensuring that training and guidance is readily available to anyone who may need it. To learn more about food waste visit our website or give us a call at 319-273-8905.


Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc., is an equal opportunity provider and employer

This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Rural Utilities Service.

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