Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative
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recapturing food waste to benefit central ohio


What is COFWI?

Facilitated by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), the Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative (COFWI) is a collection of public and private partners from across Franklin County who work to recapture food waste to serve as a resource for our communities.

What Does COFWI do?

Taking a collective impact approach, COFWI combats food waste in Central Ohio by facilitating organized efforts among partners from across our regional food chain.

In May of 2019, COFWI published the Central Ohio Food Waste Action Plan, which lays out a road map of 20 initiative for preventing food waste, rescuing and redistributing edible food, and recycling food through composting and other technologies.

Who is Part of COFWI?

COFWI partners include government agencies, local municipalities, food rescue organizations, schools, hunger-relief organizations, food service industry members, urban farming communities, and more.

Action Plan Intiatives

In the Central Ohio Food Waste Action Plan, COFWI identifies 20 initiatives for food waste prevention, rescue, and recycling. Click on the drop down tabs below, or check out the full Action Plan to see COFWI’s initiatives for food waste prevention, rescue, and recycling!


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Current Activities

Progress Update: Summer 2019

COFWI’s initial projects focus on three subject areas that our collaborative identified as foundational for future food waste reduction work. These focus areas are:

  • Consumer Food Waste Awareness Campaign- We are developing a county-wide campaign to shed light on the economic, social, and environmental benefits of addressing food waste and to push for a change in consumer behavior and provide resources for food waste reduction to local businesses and communities.

  • Piloting School Curriculum, Share Tables, Rescue, and Collection- Partnering with four schools as a testing ground, we are integrating food waste programming and developing playbooks for food waste reductions in school across Franklin County.

  • Promoting Existing Services and Programs- Many COFWI partners already offer grants, education programs, and other resources for community members looking to end food waste. We just need to get the word out!

COFWI Partners in the News

MORPC pilots a home-to-work composting program in which employees will be able to collect food waste generated at their homes and offices for composting.

SWACO works with Columbus City Schools to cut food waste in the Maize Elementary cafeteria thanks to a grant from Kroger and World Wildlife Fund! Hear about how Maize Elementary is leading the way to cut food waste.

SWACO grants support residential compost options across the region: Find out more about pilot programs in The City of Worthington, The City of Bexley, and Upper Arlington.

Ohio State student, Zac Graber, receives President’s Prize to purse food waste reduction in Central Ohio.

Franklin County and the City of Columbus partner to develop Local Food Action Plan with food waste being one of four focus areas in bringing more healthy food to Central Ohio communities.