The Get Food Smart TN Recognition Program is a voluntary recognition program administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices (OPSP). Participants in the program will be recognized for their food waste conscious actions. The goal of the program is to encourage entities not currently engaged in food waste reduction, recovery, and/or diversion to take action.

Participation in the program will be based on submission of information documenting food-waste-conscious actions, through a Get Food Smart TN Recognition Program Application. Upon submission of an application for inclusion in the program, OPSP will assess the submittal to determine fulfillment of program requirements and notify applicants of their acceptance into the program or need for further action.

Inclusion in the program will qualify organizations for a wide range of recognition, branding, and promotional opportunities, as well as technical assistance, and the chance to be named Tennessee Food Smart Organization of the Year.

The Get Food Smart TN program will recognize entities in one (1) of four (4) different categories who satisfy at least five (5) of up to 30 criteria under their category. Categories included under the program are:

    Schools – This category includes all public and private schools from Pre-K through High School as well as colleges and universities. The criteria established for recognition in this this category are:
    1. Provide educational information on food waste to students and parents.
    2. Display signage in dining areas encouraging individuals to reduce food waste.
    3. Engage your staff through training on food waste reduction and food donation.
    4. Engage staff through recognition for practices that reduce food waste.
    5. Provide organic/food scrap specific collection receptacles on site.
    6. Incorporate food waste awareness into curriculum.
    7. Start an educational garden on school property and use as an outdoor classroom. (Also applies if you already have a garden at school that is used as a teaching instrument.)
    8. Use ingredient by-products and scraps to incorporate into other planned recipes.
    9. Find out what the students like and do not like and plan meals around preferences but still within nutritional standards. This can also be done by having students sample food items you would like to offer.
    10. Partner with nearby food pantries to donate leftover food.
    11. Implement on-site composting.
    12. Implement tray-less dining in the cafeteria (if applicable).
    13. Partner with local composting companies to pick up food scraps and waste.
    14. Implement share tables.
    15. Conduct a food waste audit at the beginning and end of the school year to compare food waste reduction progress.
    16. Set goals and track amount of food waste as percentage of food purchased.
    17. Set goals and track donation, reuse, and/or composting of food waste.
    18. Set goals and track dollars saved associated with food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion efforts.
    19. If possible, try extending lunch periods, to allow students time to finish their meal.
    20. Hold recess before lunch to increase appetite and reduce the amount of food wasted by each student.
    21. Give food items creative names.
    22. Slice fruits and vegetables so students don’t have to take whole fruits and vegetables.
    23. Create food waste challenges between classes and/or grades.
    24. Host a food waste awareness day or event.
    25. Occasionally share information pertaining to food waste efforts and information on social media sites.
    26. Develop Standard Operating Procedures regarding food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion efforts to ensure consistency and continuity of program.
    27. Write a story outlining food waste reduction, recovery, and/or diversion and submit to the Get Food Smart TN website.
    28. Encourage at least one (1) other organization to enroll in the program.
    29. Encourage at least five (5) other organizations to enroll in the program.
    30. Include a link to the Get Food Smart TN website on your organization’s website.
    31. Submit annual recommendations to TDEC – OPSP for program improvement and/or attend program review meetings.
    32. Other
    Restaurants – The restaurants category broadly encompasses organizations that prepare and sell food, including commercial kitchens, fast food restaurants, fine dining restaurants, etc. The criteria established for recognition in this this category are:
    1. Provide educational information on food waste to customers.
    2. Display signage in dining areas encouraging individuals to reduce food waste.
    3. Provide staff with training on food waste reduction and food donation.
    4. Recognize staff for practices that reduce food waste.
    5. Provide organic/food scrap specific collection receptacles on site.
    6. Adopt new practices for food purchasing that result in reduced food waste.
    7. Adopt new practices for food storage that result in reduced food waste.
    8. Adopt new practices for using right-sized cooking quantities to minimize waste.
    9. Utilize foods in recipes and on menus that might otherwise go unused.
    10. Conduct quarterly or yearly food waste audits to track progress?
    11. Creatively re-purpose surplus foods.
    12. Make side dishes and bread optional for your customers.
    13. Implement on-site composting.
    14. Partner with a local composting company to pick up food scraps and food waste.
    15. Donate or sell food scraps for animal consumption.
    16. Donate surplus food to food banks and other non-profits combating food waste.
    17. Measure back of house and/or front of house food waste.
    18. Offer more flexible portions.
    19. Cook in small batches and/or cook to order.
    20. Set goals and track amount of food waste as percentage of food purchased.
    21. Set goals and track donation, reuse, and/or composting of food waste.
    22. Set goals and track dollars saved associated with food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion efforts.
    23. Host a food waste awareness day or event.
    24. Add food waste awareness information to your menu.
    25. Occasionally share information pertaining to food waste efforts and information on social media sites.
    26. Develop Standard Operating Procedures regarding food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion efforts to ensure consistency and continuity of program.
    27. Write a story outlining food waste reduction, recovery, and/or diversion and submit to the Get Food Smart TN website.
    28. Encourage at least one (1) other organization to enroll in the program.
    29. Encourage at least five (5) other organizations to enroll in the program.
    30. Include a link to the Get Food Smart TN website on your organization’s website.
    31. Submit annual recommendations to TDEC – OPSP for program improvement and/or attend program review meetings.
    32. Other
    Government Entities and Non-Profit Organizations – This category includes government agencies at the state and local level and organizations exempt under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. This category excludes schools. The criteria established for recognition in this this category are:
    1. Provide educational information on food waste for distribution to stakeholders.
    2. Display signage encouraging individuals to reduce food waste.
    3. Provide staff training on food waste reduction and food donation.
    4. Provide staff recognition for practices that reduce food waste.
    5. Provide organic/food scrap specific collection receptacles on site.
    6. Provide information on local food banks or organic diversion options for residents.
    7. Zero waste lunch day(s) at the office.
    8. Host a “Food Waste Week” to promote awareness around the issue and how your organization is seeking to improve its food waste footprint.
    9. Host talks by professionals in the food waste sector.
    10. Have a Leftovers Day and encourage employees to bring leftovers from home.
    11. Implement tray-less dining in the cafeteria (if applicable).
    12. Organize volunteer opportunities to go gleaning or help at a local food bank.
    13. Install a weighing station for leftover food in the cafeteria or break room to track food waste.
    14. Set goals and track donation, reuse, and/or composting of food waste.
    15. Implement on-site composting.
    16. Partner with a local composting company to pick up food scraps and food waste.
    17. Donate or sell food scraps for animal consumption.
    18. Donate surplus food to food banks and other non-profits combating food waste.
    19. Perform food waste audit(s) to analyze food waste generating patterns to address issues.
    20. Create a protocol to ensure leftover event food is either shared throughout the organization or is recovered.
    21. Track dollars saved associated with food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion efforts.
    22. Develop food waste specific policies.
    23. Occasionally share information pertaining to food waste efforts and information on social media sites.
    24. Develop Standard Operating Procedures regarding food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion efforts to ensure consistency and continuity of program.
    25. Write a story outlining food waste reduction, recovery, and/or diversion and submit to the Get Food Smart TN website.
    26. Encourage at least one (1) other organization to enroll in the program.
    27. Encourage at least five (5) other organizations to enroll in the program.
    28. Include a link to the Get Food Smart TN website on your organization’s website.
    29. Submit annual recommendations to TDEC – OPSP for program improvement and/or attend program review meetings.
    30. Other
    Grocers, Industry, and Agriculture – This category includes organizations involved grocery, industrial, agricultural, and other private business operations. The criteria established for recognition in this this category are:
    1. Provide educational information on food waste to customers.
    2. Display signage in dining areas encouraging individuals to reduce food waste.
    3. Provide staff training on food waste reduction and food donation.
    4. Provide staff recognition for practices that reduce food waste.
    5. Provide organic/food scrap specific collection receptacles on site.
    6. Provide information on local food banks or organic diversion options for customers.
    7. Incorporate food waste training in the staff on-boarding process.
    8. Track amount of food waste as percentage of food purchased.
    9. Track donation, reuse, and/or composting of food waste.
    10. Implement on-site composting.
    11. Partner with a local composting company to pick up food scraps and food waste.
    12. Donate or sell food scraps for animal consumption.
    13. Donate surplus food to food banks and other non-profits combating food waste.
    14. Host a food waste awareness day or event.
    15. Perform food waste audit(s).
    16. Analyze food waste generating patterns based on food waste audits and address issues.
    17. Host talks by professionals in the food waste sector.
    18. Partner with local community organizations (such as Boy Scouts) to share awareness relating to food waste.
    19. (For agriculture) Working with a gleaning organization to recover unharvested food.
    20. (For grocery) Create an area to sell lightly damaged fruits and vegetables.
    21. Create a way to ensure leftover event food is either shared throughout the organization or is recovered.
    22. Track dollars saved associated with food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion efforts.
    23. Develop food waste specific policies.
    24. Occasionally share information pertaining to food waste efforts and information on social media sites.
    25. Develop Standard Operating Procedures regarding food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion efforts to ensure consistency and continuity of program.
    26. Write a story outlining food waste reduction, recovery, and/or diversion and submit to the Get Food Smart TN website.
    27. Encourage at least one (1) other organization to enroll in the program.
    28. Encourage at least five (5) other organizations to enroll in the program.
    29. Include a link to the Get Food Smart TN website on your organization’s website.
    30. Submit annual recommendations to TDEC – OPSP for program improvement and/or attend program review meetings.
    31. Other

Entities certified as a Get Food Smart TN Organization will be asked to submit an Annual Report Form every subsequent year they are enrolled in the program. The
reporting form will be emailed to your primary contact for enrollment in Get Food Smart TN and will seek to update information submitted as part of the original application so that TDEC can continue to track the progress of food conscious actions taken by organizations across the state.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Get Food Smart TN program staff directly at GetFood.Smart@tn.gov.

Apply to have your organization recognized by GetFoodSmartTN

View a map of Recognized Organizations