HEN Webinar: Taking Action Against Food Waste Through Policy and Advocacy

This webinar will address local successes in policy and advocacy work to prevent the loss or waste of food. The two states that will be discussed include California and Maryland. Pearson King, of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, will discuss his work with LAFPC's Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Working Group, and the policy and advocacy work that led to California's new composting and organics recycling law. Brenda Platt of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, will discuss her work to move Maryland forward on composting wasted food and other organics, and current food waste legislation in that state. Members of the HEN and PHCN DPGs Public Policy Committees will also discuss food loss and waste bills that are pending in Congress and how the Academy is advocating for those bills.

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*Free for Members

CPEU: 1.0
CPE Level: 2
Performance Indicators: 8.1.2, 8.1.4, 12.1.1

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the basic elements of the food loss and waste program in California and the policy and advocacy work that led to it.
  2. Understand the basic elements of the food loss and waste program in Maryland and the policy and advocacy work that led to it.
  3. Understand the importance of policies that support a distributed and decentralized food waste reduction/recovery infrastructure
  4. Understand the food loss and waste bills that are pending in Congress and how the Academy is advocating for those bills
  5. Identify actions that could be taken to create or support food loss or waste efforts in their community or state


Pearson King

Pearson King (he/him) is the Operations & Communications Manager for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. In this position, Pearson supports the infrastructure that keeps LAFPC ticking, including the maintenance of the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network Program and the internal operations of the organization as a whole. He also helps connect the stories of LAFPC staff, members, and communities to better inform LAFPC's strategic vision.

Pearson is a passionate advocate for equity in food systems, sustainability, and the outdoors and believes in place-based, community-led solutions to systemic injustices. His experience includes working as a sustainability consultant for small farms and managing a grass-fed beef cattle ranch. Prior to joining LAFPC, Pearson worked at Food Forward where he oversaw partnerships with organizations distributing fresh produce for free in their communities, and he formerly co-chaired the Food Waste Prevention & Rescue Working Group. In addition to his duties at LAFPC, Pearson is a member of the leadership team for Climb the Gap, a group dedicated to increasing diversity and equity in the rock-climbing community.

Pearson graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy & Community Development. He has completed formal training in human-centered design with the Center for Care Innovations and is a licensed Innovation Catalyst through their Human-Centered Design & Innovation for the Safety Net program.

Brenda Platt

Brenda Platt directs the Composting for Community Initiative at the national nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance, where she has worked 36 years promoting zero waste, non-burn solutions to trash. Her current focus is advancing community-scale options such as composting at homes, community gardens, and farms. She emphasizes the power of compost to enhance soils, protect the climate, and foster healthy communities. She has authored numerous reports including Stop Trashing the Climate and Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting, and has worked on local, state, and federal policy to support local composting.

Brenda is a trained composter and trains others. She is nationally known for her work documenting the jobs through reuse, recycling, and composting. In 2017, the US Composting Council awarded her its H. Clark Gregory Award for outstanding service to the composting industry through grassroots efforts. In 2022, the U.S. EPA recognized ILSR for its community composting work to divert wasted food in the Mid-Atlantic region. Brenda as a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from The George Washington University.

When:  May 11, 2022 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (CT)
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