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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #18-20
March 5, 2018
Contact: Cynthia Butler
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Supports First Statewide Food Waste Prevention Week

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced California’s first-ever Food Waste Prevention Week, starting today through Friday, and encouraged students, educators, and the public to take steps to reduce food waste.

“We all have a role in helping to reduce the 12 billion pounds of food Californians waste per year,” said Torlakson. “This week brings attention to the impact this problem has on our communities and on the environment. I encourage everyone to do their part to reduce food waste by making changes in your home, workplace, and community.”

Reducing food waste has the potential to shift available resources to the nearly 5 million Californians who are food insecure. Experts at ReFED External link opens in new window or tab., a leading nonprofit committed to reducing United States food waste, have determined that each pound of food diverted from waste can create 1.2 meals.

The Environmental Protection Agency External link opens in new window or tab. (EPA) has helpful tips on how to plan, store, prep, and save money to avoid food waste, including:

  • Plan meals for the week before going shopping and buy only the items needed for that meal.
  • Freeze, preserve, or can surplus fruits and vegetables—especially abundant seasonal produce.
  • Prepare and cook perishable items, then freeze them for use throughout the month.
  • Shop in your refrigerator first! Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more.

Several state agencies have established partnerships to raise public awareness about the effects of wasted food on the climate and economy.

Agencies participating include the Governor’s Office for the State of California, California Department of Education, California Department of Public Health, CalRecycle, University of California, CalFresh, California Dietetic Association, Dairy Council of California, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute, Public Health Alliance of Southern California, Public Health Institute, Berkeley Media Studies Group, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

For more information, visit the NRDC SaveTheFood External link opens in new window or tab. Web site.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, September 27, 2019
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