DEC Announces $2 Million in Grants for Local Food Rescue Organizations and Municipalities to Increase Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling
Grants will Increase Amount of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Available to Hungry New Yorkers and Reduce Landfilling of Wasted Food
Supports Governor Cuomo’s Goal to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40 Percent by 2030
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced $2 million in grant funding for food pantries and other emergency food relief organizations of wholesome food to New Yorkers in need and to municipalities as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce food waste and increase food waste recycling. The application for grants is now available on the Grants Gateway.
Commissioner Seggos said, “New York continues to make great strides in increasing the amount of fresh food available to those in need and in reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in our landfills. These efforts emphasize our commitment to the citizens of the state and the environment that we live in. The grants announced today will also further bolster Governor Cuomo’s efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change.”
Not-for-profit emergency food relief organizations are eligible to receive funding to increase the availability of wholesome food to those in need, including the purchase of equipment such as refrigerators for fruits and vegetables and staff expenses that result in increased collection and distribution of food. Municipalities are eligible for funds to promote the reduction of wasted food, increase food donation efforts, and for increased food scraps recycling through the construction of composting facilities or other means.
An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten while about 2.5 million New Yorkers are currently food insecure. In addition to wasting natural resources, including water and nutrients, to produce food that will never be consumed, much of this organic waste is disposed of in solid waste landfills where its decomposition accounts for more than 15 percent of U.S. emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Grant funding totaling $800,000 is being made available for emergency food relief organizations, and $1.2 million is being made available for municipalities through the NYS Grants Gateway (link leaves DEC’s website) website. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2019, for food rescue organizations, and March 1, 2019, for municipalities.
New York continues to place a high priority on reducing wasted food, donating excess food to food insecure people and recycling food scraps through composting or anaerobic digestion and today’s announcement complements the State’s ongoing efforts to address food waste. In addition to the funding announced today, $800,000 is being provided to the Food Bank Association through Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) funding administered by DEC, $1.2 million has already been committed to municipalities for food waste reduction and recycling, and $4 million is available for food waste generators to implement reduction practices which is being administered by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (P2I).
Additional information about the grant program is available on DEC’s website.