We Got Us Some #SaveTheFood Billboards!

#SaveTheFood Billboard at Broadway and Sweetwater Way in Lemon Grove

We Got Us Some #SaveTheFood Billboards!

Save The Food San Diego is a county-wide food waste awareness partnership that leverages the national “Save The Food” public service campaign, a partnership with NRDC and the Ad Council. 

At the San Diego Food System Alliance, we have been busy preparing to launch our collaborative consumer education campaign in September 2017. And now we have our first set of billboards showing up around the county! Whoop, whoop! The Alliance is funding the printing for billboards this year and next, and our colleagues at the Ad Council are coordinating donated placement across the county. We are coordinating media coverage, branded resources with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and tracking participation. Our vision is that Save The Food messaging will be seen and heard all over the county, coming from many different sources, creating that buzz of recognition for consumers.

Over the course of the past few months we have held numerous group and one-to-one one partnership meetings, presentations, and brainstorming workshops with:

  • Jurisdictions: SANDAG Technical Advisory Council, Regional Solid Waste Association (RSWA) Board of Directors, County of San Diego, and cities of Encinitas, Poway, Santee, Escondido, Vista, San Marcos, Carlsbad, Coronado, El Cajon, Solana Beach, Del Mar, National City, Imperial Beach
  • Hospitals & Healthcare: Nutrition in Healthcare Leadership Team, Kaiser Permanente, UCSD Health LaJolla and Hillcrest, Plum Healthcare. Sharp Health Chula Vista
  • K-12 Schools: Farm to School Task Force, Cajon Valley Union School District, Vista Unified School District, Carlsbad Unified School District
  • Universities: Cal State San Marcos, Point Loma Nazarene University, UC San Diego
  • Regional non-profits: Alliance for Regional Solutions, Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Feeding San Diego, San Diego Hunger Coalition, North County Food Policy Council, Community Health Improvement Partners, I Love A Clean San Diego, Solana Center for Environmental Innovation
  • State-wide California: CalRecycle SB 1383 Workshop
  • National: EPA Sustainable Materials Management webinar with NRDC

According to research from ReFed (2016, 21), consumer education campaigns offer the highest return-on-investment for strategies to reduce food waste. So we’re meeting with and convening local government and their businesses, schools, hospitals, universities, grocers and large venues, in groups and individually. We’re brainstorming opportunities and ideas together to creatively message #SaveTheFood, from multiple departments and organizations, using existing communication channels. We encourage them to all utilize Save The Food San Diego messaging assets during specific time periods in 2017 and 2018, so we can track our impact. We want to create a buzz, and a multi-layered platform, for discussion and education on food waste---and eventually behavior change.

The convenings have been really fun. And have generated some great ideas, too. Jen Winfrey, County of SD, shared that “the jurisdiction convening I attended was a good opportunity to have a collaborative, constructive brainstorming session and a little fun.  Starting with ice breakers was fun and informative, even for people who have known each other professionally for years.  I think the ice breakers got everyone talking and thinking, so when it came time to brainstorm opportunities for deploying the Save the Food San Diego campaign, the attendees contributed their thoughts in a positive way instead of focusing on some challenges in navigating jurisdiction procedures.”

#SaveTheFood San Diego - University and Hospital Brainstorming Session

Participants have helped identify opportunities to collaboratively and strategically share #SaveTheFood messaging via our local governments, businesses, and organizations. Participants are also helping us to identify and work with food waste generators and food donation agencies to facilitate and catalyze network, resource and capacity building.

We encourage all participants to use the assets to message to their stakeholders, driving traffic to www.SaveTheFood.com  for tips on shopping, cooking and storing food to reduce waste. We let them know that website analytics can track hits from each City, and what that data will tell us about our efforts. We are also preparing our local resource page on the Alliance website, which will include information about our campaign and access to shareable assets, as well as local, regional, and national food waste reduction and recovery resources, media and news.

Stay tuned for more to come all over the lovely San Diego region. We will kick off our collaborative Save The Food San Diego consumer education campaign at the Food Waste Solutions Summit III on September 26, 2017 at the Jacobs Center in San Diego! Hope to see you there!

#SaveTheFood Billboard at Garnet Ave and Mission Bay Dr in Pacific Beach

Post by Barbara Hamilton, Director of Strategic Initiatives