Food Waste and JEDI: Exploring the Intersections


Food Waste and JEDI: Exploring the Intersections

June 20, 2023

As an organization dedicated to food waste reduction, ReFED hopes to play an important role in helping to transform the food system for the better. Yet while the connections between food waste and sustainability and resilience are clear, its link to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) issues can often be harder to discern – beyond the critical role that food recovery plays in redistributing food at risk of going to waste to those in need. As such, we have conducted a landscape assessment to explore the intersection of food waste and JEDI issues, in order to start to define ReFED’s role in furthering the dialogue and to provide actionable recommendations and motivation for others in the space.

“Building a Food System That Works for Everyone: A Look at the Intersection of Food Waste and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” offers guidance and potential solutions gathered from interviews with nearly three dozen food waste practitioners across five “Impact Areas”:

  • Treatment of Workers within the Food System
  • Capital Flows
  • Food Assistance Infrastructure and Processes
  • Consumer Education Strategy
  • Food Waste Disposal Infrastructure

It also features case studies of organizations that are making a difference in the space, including Wholesum, Compass Group, Fairbridge Park, Loaves & Fishes, Baltimore Compost Collective, and more.

We hope that this assessment serves as a piece of the puzzle, and that people feel inspired to continue this learning with us. Our goal is for this work to start to identify areas for improvement – both among the broader food waste community and within ReFED’s ecosystem – and serve as a source of inspiration and ideas, as we collectively work to enhance justice and make room for voices that have historically been marginalized throughout the food system.

Download “Building a Food System That Works for Everyone: A Look at the Intersection of Food Waste and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” here.

ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow.

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