NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville Mayor John Cooper, Metro Public Works, Nashville Originals, the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association, and the Nashville Food Waste Initiative challenged local restaurants Friday to reduce the amount of food they waste while helping to feed hungry Nashvillians throughout the holiday season and beyond.

The event was held at Las Palmas on Charlotte Pike, which is committing their entire franchise to the Challenge this week.

“Now, almost 100,000 Davidson County residents, including 25,000 children struggle with hunger every day”, explained Mayor Cooper. “Nashvillians look out for each other and care about the least among us. We can take advantage of the abundance of foods here rather than wasting it”.

The Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge aims to inspire our local businesses to donate wholesome food to people who need it most this holiday season. Up to 40% of the food in the United States goes uneaten, with 95% of that wasted food ending up in landfills or incinerators.

Linda Breggin, project director of the Nashville Food Waste Initiative, explained the strategy.

“For the last several years we have been implementing with stakeholders a strategy that looks at how to prevent waste, how to rescue surplus food, and how to recycle food scraps.”

Besides feeding the hungry, the plan also hopes to reduce the amount of wasted food that ends up in landfills, which are filling up quickly.

To join the Challenge, restaurants, hotels and event venues are asked to select and implement at least five options from a menu of strategies proven to reduce food waste, and then report out on their progress.

If your restaurant or business wishes to become involved, click here or Google “Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge”.