ACCA Begins New Project to Reduce Food Waste and Senior Hunger

IMG_1520The Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) planted herbs and vegetables in a new onsite senior-friendly garden on Thursday as part of the ongoing What A Waste™ project, made possible by a grant from the Walmart Foundation.

ACCA is pleased to be entering into the next phase of their work with NFESH and recognize addressing food waste can directly combat senior hunger. “Working with NFESH through the What A Waste project has allowed us to take a closer look at our internal waste and develop processes to turn it into healthy food for the older adults we serve,” said Heather Tracy, Director of Operations for the ACCA.

Through What A Waste, all leftover food at ACCA is being separated, measured and catalogued. By learning which foods are left on the seniors’ plates, NFESH can determine which nutrients are being consumed and which nutrients are being wasted. This knowledge will enable ACCA to create menus and serve meals that can improve their clients overall nutrition and promote better health.

“We are working with the Athens Community Council on Aging to track and reduce their food waste, send that food waste to compost and use composted soil to grow a new source of healthful foods,” said Heather Cosson, Director of Communication for the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger. “This new senior-friendly garden will provide ACCA fresh vegetables and herbs that can be used to create nutritious and flavorful meals for the seniors they serve.”

Each week, the separated food waste from ACCA is sent to the University of Georgia to be composted. UGA’s Office of Sustainability has donated gardening materials to ACCA.

“We’re excited to partner with ACCA to divert organic materials from the landfill – turning coffee grounds and veggie scraps into nutrient-rich compost and returning it to the garden to grow wholesome food for their clients,” said Kevin Kirsche, Director of Sustainability for the University of Georgia. “Composting is creating a beautiful cycle and UGA students enjoy participating in each stage of the process.”

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