SBN’s Food Saver Challenge

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Combating Food Waste in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is committed to diverting 90% or more of the city’s waste from landfills by 2035. Since food waste makes up about 20% of our waste stream, it continues to be a pressing problem for our communities. It’s also estimated that around 250,000 people in Philadelphia lack access to nutritious food to live a healthy life.

Because of this, SBN is launching a Food Saver Challenge to address these issues and encourage local businesses to adopt sustainable practices and become leaders in reducing food waste.

Conducted in partnership with the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), SBN’s Food Saver Challenge is a six-month opportunity that is open to all local food businesses in Philadelphia, including restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, coffee shops, hotels, event venues, and more. Throughout the challenge, participating businesses will be able to monitor and track their progress in reducing, repurposing, and donating food that would otherwise be wasted. The application period will be open from Friday, August 4, 2023, until Thursday, August 31, 2023. Approximately ten businesses will be chosen and notified by Friday, September 8, 2023. Selected businesses will be invited to participate in an onboarding call on Friday, September 15, 2023.

Upon joining the challenge, participants will compete to win the title of “Food Saver Champion,” a cash prize of $5,000, potential press and public recognition, as well as other opportunities.


Here’s How To Apply:

Become part of SBN’s Food Saver Challenge, by submitting an application here. If you have any issues as you submit your application, please contact Rebecca Nichols Franqui, SBN’s Program and Membership Coordinator, at

See below for a few frequently asked questions about our challenge!

What is SBN’s Food Saver Challenge?Why is SBN leading this challenge? How do businesses participate?Who’s involved in coordinating this challenge?

What is SBN’s Food Saver Challenge?

Conducted in partnership with the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), SBN’s Food Saver Challenge aims to increase awareness of the overall impact of surplus and wasted food, offer meaningful and tangible resources for reducing food waste, and build a culture of reducing food waste within Philadelphia with participating partners and businesses.

Why is SBN leading this challenge?

SBN’s Food Saver Challenge presents a unique opportunity for local food businesses throughout Philadelphia to make impactful change in achieving a zero-food waste initiative while empowering businesses to be leaders of the charge.

How do businesses participate?

From Friday, August 1, 2023, until Thursday, August 31, 2023, food businesses can apply directly using the application form. If you have questions or issues as you apply, please contact Rebecca Nichols Franqui, SBN’s Program and Membership Coordinator, at

Who’s involved in coordinating this challenge?

In addition to working with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), SBN is working with the following organizations and businesses in coordinating this challenge:

  • ClearCOGS, a software company that uses technology to try to solve the waste issue facing most restaurants
  • Composting services such as Circle Compost and Bennett Compost
  • Local food recovery and redistribution, and hunger-relief organizations including Sharing Excess and Share Food Program
  • Drexel Food Lab for technical assistance and resources to help businesses implement effective strategies for waste reduction.

Benefits for Participating Food Businesses

Participating food businesses will stand to benefit from the following:

  • Complimentary access to ClearCOGS software to help businesses minimize waste,
    reduce storage costs, and increase efficiency for the duration of the challenge.
  • Complimentary food redistribution support from local food recovery organizations
    including Sharing Excess and the Share Food Program’s Philly Food Rescue.
  • Complimentary technical assistance services through Drexel Food Lab.
  • Access to Bennett Compost and Circle Compost services.
  • Recognition by SBN, potential press opportunities, and other forms of city-wide
  • Increased visibility through inclusion in media and social media coverage.
  • The opportunity to share food saving results with the wider community, inspiring others
    to take action and join the fight against food waste.
  • Potential for cost savings through the reduction of food waste.
  • A chance to win a cash prize of $5,000 and to be recognized as SBN’s “Food Saver

Meet Our Participating Partners

Participating Businesses

Tools & Resources

SBN’s Food Saver Challenge presents a unique opportunity for local food businesses to combat food waste. Below, you’ll find some resources to help you along the way.


SBN Food Saver Challenge Helpful Resources



City of Philadelphia’s Zero Waste Initiatives on Food Reduction

See tips and tools to help you reduce food waste at your business or at home.


NRDC Food Waste Challenge Guide

NRDC is working with partners to develop city-based solutions to food waste in the U.S. See their guide on best practices for businesses.


EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy

The EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes actions organizations can take to prevent and divert wasted food.


In the Press

SBN unveils ‘Food Saver Challenge to Tackle Food Waste Head-On in Philly

Green Philly


An innovative, new initiative to reduce food waste launches in Philadelphia

Al Dia News


Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia Launches ‘Food Saver Challenge’ to Combat Food Waste in Philadelphia

Perishable News


Contact Us

If you’re interested in learning more about SBN’s Food Saver Challenge or if you’re a business that would like to take part in the challenge, feel free to reach out to us!
Contact Us   Apply Here