Decoding the Date

DESIGNER(S): Brett Hannan
Chris Vogliano


If you support this proposal, you can make a virtual vote by sharing a link to this page on your social media. We are tracking each project proposal page on the back end and will give a special 'Popular Vote Grant' for $500 to the project that has been shared the most by September 17th.


ESTIMATED COST: $700 – 1,280

TIMELINE: We project that this venture will take 2 to 3 months to implement, due to the acquisition of resources and scope of outreach – magnets, marketing resources, compost bins, bags, and other supplies.

DREAM MENTOR: We would like to have Jennifer Otten, PhD, RD, Assistant professor at the University of Washington to oversee our project due to her knowledge and experience of the food system. She contributed to the Seattle Food Waste Report found here: https://depts.washington.edu/uwcphn/reports/SeattleFoodWasteReport.PDF

We live in a country where nearly 40% of all food produced ends up in the landfill, are one of the biggest contributors. Seattle is one of the lucky few cities that has the infrastructure for city-wide composting, however this only alleviates some of the problems. 

Research shows that 91% of consumers throw out food prematurely – before it goes bad. A comprehensive report from reFED has determined that consumer education is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to make a significant impact by reducing food waste.

We would use this grant money to provide educational ‘decoding the date info-magnets’ to Seattle consumers. These magnets would contain simple and concise information on what packaging terminology actually means. Dates on food rarely means that food is unsafe to eat, and if often times prematurely thrown away. Educating consumers on this important issue can help save consumers money, as well as reduce the amount of wasted food. We will also be incorporating an optional micro-survey component to assess and measure lifestyle change metrics. Those that participate in the survey will be entered to win a CSA share, or other relevant gift. This simple solution can create behavior change on a local level, having both environmental and economic benefits for our Seattle community.

Our first target audience will start with the students at the University of Washington. If we gain enough support, then we can expand our reach to the greater Seattle community.


Brett: As a Nutritionist, Chef and Activist, I have been studying and experiencing the impacts of our current food system on people’s health and the environment. I want to provide another avenue of action that combines food waste reduction and consumer education. This will show the community that they can make a daily influence on the environment and their own economic health.

Chris: As a public health Dietitian, I have had a personal and professional interest in food waste for years. Having presented and published research on the topic, I understand how serious of an impact letting good food go to waste is. Food waste has nearly doubled in the past 30 years, and is causing deleterious economic, environmental, and social impacts. In my opinion, reducing food waste is one of the easiest ways to make our food supply system more efficient and environmentally friendly.


If rewarded, this grant could cover our entire budget. The more funding we secure, the more reach our project will have. We will seek support from the City of Seattle, Seattle Tilth, Food Lifeline, and the University of Washington to work towards a better community.

Here is the estimate for a few magnets: 
2,000 magnets – $1,280.00 

2,000 magnets - $700.00

Other Partners to consider: Ballard Food Bank – Full Circle Farms – Solid Ground – Slow Food - Real Food Challenge – Food not Bombs – Seattle Good Business Network – Sustainable Seattle – Air and Waste Management Association – FORKS