The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and partner agencies will host the state’s inaugural Food Waste Awareness Week Monday through Saturday by way of the department’s Get Food Smart TN program, according to a press release.

TDEC will partner with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension, Clean Memphis, The Nashville Food Project, the city of Knoxville, green|spaces, the Society of St. Andrew and other organizations for a week of virtual education and outreach, according to the press release.

The Food Waste Awareness Week will consist of daily themes centered on strategies for addressing food waste with tips, resources highlighting best practices, a daily food hero photo challenge, and a statewide food drive for hunger relief, according to TDEC.

The week will culminate with End Food Waste TN events in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville at local breweries. According to TDEC, brewers are partnering with local bakeries to take unsold bread and turn it into a brew to raise awareness about food waste. The events will inform local citizens about the importance of reducing food waste, increasing food recovery, and other strategies. All events for the week, both virtual and in-person, are free, open to the public and intended to be family-friendly.

The effort will focus on awareness of the significance of food waste and encourage organizations to take action to reduce waste and increase food recovery and diversion, the press release notes.

Food waste, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, accounts for the largest percentage of what is thrown away in the United States.

“We are excited to partner with organizations across the state to bring awareness to this issue,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said in a statement. “Businesses and community partners are taking steps to make a difference. Together, we will share tips that can help households reduce food waste and save money.”

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.