Local ShopRites Commit to Reducing Food Waste, Increasing Donations

By Crissa Shoemaker DeBree

Ten Philadelphia-area ShopRite stores, Philabundance and a New Jersey organic recycler have joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Challenge, which encourages organizations to reduce, donate and recycle as much of their excess food as possible.

The ShopRite stores that are owned and operated by the Brown family include those in Bensalem and Fairless Hills. Philabundance is the Delaware Valley’s largest food bank.

Brown’s ShopRites began a composting partnership with Marlton, N.J.-based Organic Diversion in 2011, and since then have put more than 170 tons of food waste into composting bins. The company also has been donating unspoiled food to hunger relief organizations for more than 20 years; since January, the stores have donated 42 tons of fresh food to feed the hungry in the Philadelphia area.

By signing on to the Food Recovery Challenge, Brown’s ShopRite stores have committed to increase the amount of food they’re diverting from landfills by at least 5 percent during the first year. The company will work with the EPA to track its waste activities.

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