U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Food
  3. Resources for You (Food)
  4. Consumers
  5. Food Loss and Waste
  1. Consumers

Food Loss and Waste

Social Media Toolkit
Help spread the word to your followers and subscribers about the federal joint agency initiative to reduce food waste.

Food Waste Animations
Check out animated videos that can help you take action to reduce food waste.

Key Steps for Donating Food

New FDA Food Code Reduces Barriers to Food Donations
The FDA recently released 2022 Food Code helps reduce barriers to food donations by clarifying for the first time that food donations from retail food establishments are acceptable as long as proper food safety practices are followed.

Key Steps for Donating Food – For Retail Food Establishments

In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30–40 percent of the food supply. This figure, based on estimates from USDA’s Economic Research Service of food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. Food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills and represents wasted nourishment that could have helped feed families in need. Additionally, water, energy, and labor used to produce wasted food could have been employed for other purposes. Effectively reducing food waste will require cooperation among federal, state, tribal and local governments, faith-based institutions, environmental organizations, communities, consumers, and the entire supply chain.

Federal Interagency Collaboration

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed a joint agency formal agreement aimed at improving coordination and communication across federal agencies attempting to better educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste. The agreement was renewed on December 17, 2020.

In 2019, the USDA, EPA and FDA issued its FY2019-2020 Federal Interagency Strategy.

In 2023, the USDA, EPA and FDA released a national strategy that will drive progress toward the national goal to reduce food loss and waste in the U.S. by 50% by 2030. This action is a continuation of the three agencies’ collaborative efforts to build a more sustainable future. The Draft National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics identifies opportunities to reduce food loss and waste across the entire supply chain. The draft strategy features four objectives:

  • Prevent the loss of food where possible.
  • Prevent the waste of food where possible.
  • Increase the recycling rate for all organic waste.
  • Support policies that incentivize and encourage food loss and waste prevention and organics recycling.

For additional information, see Press Release: FDA, USDA and EPA Propose National Strategy to Reduce U.S. Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics.

Additional Activities

On April 9, 2019, USDA, EPA, and FDA signed a formal agreement with ReFED, Inc. to collaborate on efforts to reduce food waste in the United States. The agencies and ReFED agreed to develop approaches for measuring the success of food waste strategies, advance data collection and measurement efforts, and to participate as appropriate in the Further with Food: Center for Food Loss and Waste partnership, among other activities. The agreement was renewed in September 2021 and will remain in effect for three years.


The following are resources to help you do your part to reduce food loss and waste. You play a part in reaching the national food waste reduction goal – to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030.

Start using these tips today to reduce food waste, save money, and protect the environment.

Food Waste Resouces from FDA

From FDA

Key Steps for Donating Food
Information retail food establishments should keep in mind when donating food.

How to Cut Food Waste and Maintain Food Safety
Learn how food waste and food safety are connected.

Tips to Reduce Food Waste
Learn to reduce food waste at the grocery store or when eating out; in the kitchen while storing and preparing; at home while cooking, serving, and enjoying food with family and friends.

Food Waste Animated Videos
Check out animated videos that can help you take action to reduce food waste.

Food Loss and Waste Social Media Toolkit
Resources to help you spread the word about reducing food waste. Includes sample social media posts.

View infographics on a variety of food loss and waste related topics in the "Reducing Food Waste" tab.

From EPA

Wasted food is a growing problem in our modern society and an untapped opportunity. In 2018 alone, over 63 million tons of food waste were generated in the commercial, institutional, and residential sectors, with only 4 percent managed via composting. EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills than any other single material in our everyday trash, constituting 24 percent of municipal solid waste. EPA works with stakeholders throughout the food system to reduce waste through partnership, leadership and action.

Learn more about Sustainable Management of Food from EPA.

Food Waste Resouces from USDA


USDA is doing its part to help make preventing food waste the first-best option for farmers, businesses, organizations, and consumers. A large number of USDA programs contribute to this objective, ranging from those supporting market and distributional efficiencies to those educating consumers about safe food storage. Selected new and ongoing activities directly contributing to the reduction of food loss and waste are listed below.

Download the FoodKeeper App – The FoodKeeper app provides guidance on safe handling, preparation, and storage of more than 650 food and beverage items.

Watch USDA Food Loss and Waste Videos – USDA has a food loss and waste playlist in YouTube with Videos in English and Spanish.

Learn about USDA's Food Waste Activities.

Back to Top