ORONO — The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine is set to host a talk, Stepping up to the Plate: Innovations in Food Waste Reduction, at 3 p.m. Monday, March 20.

The talk will be held both remotely via Zoom and in person at 107 Norman Smith Hall in the center on the UMaine campus.

Wasted food is a solvable challenge that could lead to positive environmental and social impacts, and there is a wide range of solutions that are ripe for adoption that can help achieve national and international goals of cutting food waste by 50% by 2030, according to a news release from Ruth Hallsworth at the center.

ReFED’s Angel Veza will discuss some of the current barriers to food waste reduction faced by individuals and companies, the latest innovations designed to address these barriers, and what’s needed to help these solutions grow their impact.

ReFED is a national nonprofit dedicated to ending food loss and waste across the U.S. food system. Veza serves as its senior manager of capital, innovation, and engagement, working to catalyze adoption of top food waste solutions.

She originally worked in the education field teaching underserved communities. After working with students for seven years, Veza received her Grande Diplome at the French Culinary Institute and worked through New York City’s top restaurants, including Morimoto, two Michelin-starred Atera and food service companies like Compass Group.


During that time, she witnessed the significant amount of food being wasted in the hospitality industry and decided to work with the Food Waste team at World Wildlife Fund. As an expansion of that, she worked in supply chain and led strategic sourcing and procurement with a focus on food waste reduction at Manhatta Restaurant, part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City.

All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free. Registration is required to attend remotely; to register and receive connection information, visit umaine.edu.

Face coverings are required for all attending Mitchell Center Sustainability Talks.

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Hallsworth at 207-581-3196 or [email protected].



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