A Unique Statewide

Sustainability Project

To find out what is involved, go to the Taking the Challenge page.

Scroll down this page to read about the project concept, the situation that lead to PERC's involvement and the benefits to schools of PHE-FRC participation.  For a look at what's involved in participating, go to our Taking the Challenge page  


 The Situation
Over 16% of the people in the U.S. are food insecure.  For American kids, it's 1 in 5.
40% of American food goes to waste. 97% of that waste goes to landfills and incinerators.

Decomposing food generates methane; a potent greenhouse gas: 33 times more so than carbon dioxide. (Shindell, et al, Science 2009)
Wasted food means wasted resources. Resources that could be put to use in service of a college or university's mission.

 The Project
PERC has joined U.S. EPA as a WasteWise program partner. WasteWise helps organizations and businesses apply sustainable materials management practices to reduce municipal and select industrial wastes. Through WasteWise, PERC has become a Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) Endorser. Doing so allowed us to develop the PHE-FRC, the first statewide project of its kind in the country with unique participant benefits (below.)

No Pennsylvania institutions had joined U.S. EPA's FRC. The PHE-FRC provides an avenue for multiple Pennsylvania schools to participate and enhance sustainability.
As an FRC Endorser, PERC is encouraging our Member Schools to join the FRC as Participants. To accomplish the goal of increasing participation in FRC, PERC is launching “The PA Higher Ed Food Recovery Challenge (PHE-FRC)” which provides schools who join with some unique benefits (below.)

See PERC Memeber and Affiliate schools
By tackling food recovery as a statewide challenge, PA schools
can benefit from friendly competition and collective momentum. 
PERC will provide regular communications to Pennsylvania's Colleges and Universities sharing challenges met and success stories.

PERC will track 
PHE-FRC metrics reported by participating institutions and recognize progress made along a variety of parameters.

The Benefits
Engaging successfully in the PHE-FRC will result in a reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Not only does participation in the Challenge produce these positive results, but software allows the EPA to provide a valid quantification of that reduction to each school for use in its carbon reporting.


Students eat every day. With many of them eating on campus, this project is a very real-to-students sustainability initiative. There is opportunity for students to get involved in a variety of efforts from food rescue to campus composting and more.
In addition, through effective campus communication about the project (signage in the dining areas for example), sustainability education can happen at a very "gut" level. 

PHE-FRC provides a number of opportunities for the college community to initiate and strengthen relationships with its surrounding communitiy.  One example: rescued food might be taken to local shelters. 
Sign up now!

Ready to begin? Click here to enroll your institution in the PHE-FRC.  To find out more about what's involved in "Taking the Challenge," go here.

  • Participation is free to all PERC Member Schools.
  • Participation is also free to all schools that have a food service contract with PHE-FRC sponsor Sodexo (and any future sponsors.) 
  • Any other Pennsylvania higher education institutions are encouraged to join PERC to participate in this statewide challenge.  Contact PERC to explore other ways to participate.

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