Thrive E&S TAG - October 2019

Food Waste Fiasco: Dealing with Packaging & Surplus Disposal


Near-term policy solutions to address plastics, pollution and hunger


Our wonderful speakers discussed policy options and scalable programs to redistribute unused food and reduce plastic packaging.

The open discussion that followed focused on how advocacy and leadership could accelerate existing solutions and waste reduction results.

  • Date - Wed October 16, 11.30a-1p
  • Location - Redwood Shores Branch Library, 399 Marine Pkwy, Redwood City
  • Attendees - 38 people representing 35 organizations; attendee mix = 66% nonprofit, 18% government, 8% business, 8% education
  • Presentation - link
  • Blog - see below

Speakers/Experts (bios & pictures below)

  • Eun-Soo Lim - Sr. Sustainability Coordinator, SMC Office of Sustainability
  • Maria Yap - Founder & Executive Director, Peninsula Food Runners 
  • Zia MacWilliams - Federal Nutrition Programs Manager, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley
  • Unable to attend - Lilian Chang - Student Leader, Mills High School 

Survey Comments

  • The speakers were passionate and helpful
  • Valuable information shared by community members
  • Great variety of interests in the audience
  • Learned a tremendous amount on a subject I prior had limited knowledge
  • It’s so important to have representatives of different sectors


Coming soon

Speaker Biographies

Eun-Soo Lim - Eun-Soo has over 12 years’ experience in sustainability as an environmental non-profit consultant, auditor for mandatory and voluntary greenhouse gas reporting programs in California and Massachusetts, and supporting local governments and schools in climate change efforts. In the last four years with the County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability, Eun-Soo has led the development and implementation of waste reduction programs, including the County’s disposable food service ware ordinance and the 4Rs Grants Program. She holds a Bachelors in Environmental Science from Barnard College and a Masters in Climate & Society from Columbia University.

Lilian Chang - Lilian is a junior at Mills High School and the president of Mills' National Green Schools Society Chapter. Since last year she has tackled the issue of waste contamination her school, and has spoken to administration and community leaders about the harms of single use plastic. Recently, she presented at the Schools for a Sustainable Future Conference hosted by San Mateo County Office of Education where she was recognized as a Standout Leader.

Maria Yap - Under Maria’s leadership, the 600 volunteers of Peninsula Food Runners divert 45,000 lbs. of food per week from landfills. This avoids 3,500 lbs. of CO2 emissions and provides 38,000 meals to surrounding communities. Previous experience includes sous chef, cancer patient advocate, and web app developer of Chow Match which tracks and streamlines the food recovery process between donors, recipients and drivers. Maria studied Food Service Management and Nutrition at the University of Arizona.

Zia MacWilliams - Zia MacWilliams is the Senior Manager of Federal Children’s Nutrition Programs at Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley, a member of Second Harvest Sustainability Committee, and as a former homeless and refugee services employee, is a strong community advocate for increasing food security. Zia has a MA degree in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and is currently pursuing an MBA at UC Berkeley. Zia was selected as a Knight Foundation K-880 City Champion in 2017 and is a Leadership Palo Alto Fellow.





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  • Doug Silverstein
    published this page in E&S TAG 2019-09-12 04:21:32 -0700