Several state agencies are joining with private groups in an effort to reduce food waste in South Carolina.
The groups launched the “Don’t Waste Food S.C.” campaign during a Wednesday event at Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia
The Department of Commerce, Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Department of Agriculture are working with the organization Feeding America, which represents food banks across the country and Re-Soil Compost.
The program is aimed at individuals, businesses and entire communities. Don’t Waste Food S.C. is asking for donations of surplus or compost food that cannot be eaten, instead of throwing it in the trash.
State Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said the new program will try to reduce the number one item that’s thrown away. “Last year in South Carolina we produced about 600,000 tons of food waste.”
DHEC Office of Solid Waste manager Richard Chesley said being a smart grocery shopper can help. “Check what you have in your refrigerator and cabinets, that type of thing, before you go buy anything more. Plan your meals that week. There’s ways you can store food in the refrigerator and cabinets to keep it longer. Check those dates.”
“We’re talking about capturing something before it goes into an unusable form in a land fill,” said South Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers.