Food Recovery

Food Recovery

Time: Friday, 2:10 pm to 3:35 pm


Moderator: James Souder, Master of Environmental Management ’18, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies


Christine Bergmark, clb advising, llc

Landon Horan, The Center for Food Equity & Economic Development at The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, Program Manager

Leah Lizarondo, 412 Food Rescue

Melissa Terry, University of Arkansas/USDA/EPA

Sarah Alvarez, University of Oregon School of Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Fellow


Keywords: food waste, food recovery, ‘food insecure’, legal approaches, innovation

Summary: This panel presents various food recovery efforts that utilize legal incentives, data-driven innovation, education, and right-based advocacy to reduce food waste and feed ‘food insecure’ populations. 

Christine Bergmark will present the win-win-win law she helped create in Maryland to address the state’s serious hunger crisis and wasted surplus of farmer produce. She will describe how the proposal-turned-law incentivizes farmers to “donate” their fresh produce to the hunger community through a modest tax credit, bringing health benefits of nourishing food to the “food insecure” and increasing food security, while minimizing food waste. Landon Horan will argue why a change in rhetoric and strategy is needed for EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, which simplistically intends to “feed hungry people” by rerouting to them food that will be wasted. Her presentation will explore market-based solutions that create living-wage jobs that simultaneously address food waste, food security, and food sovereignty, and outline successful working models around the world that can be implemented at scale. Leah Lizarondo will present the work of 412 Food Rescue, one of the fastest growing food recovery organizations in the nation, which has redirected over 1,800,000 pounds of food in 2 years. She will describe 412 Food Rescues’ data-driven approach that seeks to reduce food waste at a systemic scale, and some of their innovative projects. Melissa Terry will present the innovative food waste awareness and action guide created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the University of Arkansas for students and school personnel. Sarah Alvarez will assess the ‘right to food’ concept emerging in American legal jurisprudence, weighing its promise and the challenges it may face. She will also delve into the recent wave of anti-food-sharing laws that criminalize the act of sharing food with the hungry and poor that has motivated the move towards framing food access as a right.