Local Projects Prevent 93 Million Pounds of Food Waste

Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release: May 2, 2019
News Release #2019-12
Media Contact: Lance Klug

California Climate Investments Combat Hunger and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

SACRAMENTO–The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has awarded $11 million in grants to 36 local projects that prevent waste, reduce pollution, and combat climate change by getting good food to Californians who need it.

CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program aims to reduce methane emissions by keeping edible food out of California landfills through food waste prevention, donation, and redistribution to the 1 in 8 Californians (including 1 in 5 children) who lack the resources to guarantee their next meal.

The estimated 93 million pounds of food diverted from landfills by these projects equates to about 78 million meals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Edible food disposal is a humanitarian tragedy and a tremendous waste of California’s resources,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “These local food waste prevention and rescue projects make our communities healthier and help California combat climate change by getting us closer to the revolutionary methane reduction targets required under California’s new Organics Recycling and Food Waste Prevention law.”

Food waste makes up nearly 20 percent of California’s disposal stream.

  • When sent to landfills, food and other organic waste decomposes and generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
  • Besides the opportunity to feed Californians in need, what’s also lost with food waste is money spent along the food production chain, including the cost of energy, water, fertilizer, harvesting, production, storage, and transportation.

Cap and TradeCalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Projects eligible for the grant program must be located in California; result in permanent, annual, and measurable greenhouse gas emissions reductions; and increase the quantity of California-generated food materials prevented, reduced, or rescued from disposal. Many of the following grant recipients serve multiple counties.

ApplicantCountyProject DescriptionFood Waste AvertedAward

Alameda County

Partnering with Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League, ALL IN Alameda County, Unity Council

AlamedaPurchase delivery van, branding software, food storage equipment and marketing to expand program that rescues food from local farmers markets and the Castro Valley, Hayward, and San Lorenzo school districts and trains/hires formerly incarcerated
citizens to deliver food to low-income housing sites.
+783,000 lbs. $266,831
Berkeley Food NetworkAlamedaIncrease output of Hub Kitchen program to 1,000 weekly meals and expand food recovery network to provide additional food for own pantry distributions and other food assistance programs.+426,000 lbs.$121,150
Blue Strike EnvironmentalMonterey Purchase forklift, cold storage, food management software, and other equipment to expand and increase efficiency of food recovery efforts for Merced County Food Bank.+1.7 million lbs.$492,000

Cascadia Consulting Group, Inc.

Partnering with San Francisco Department of the Environment

AlamedaUpgrade equipment and enhance systems to prevent food waste and increase food recovery and redistribution at 20 large-scale operations including hospitals, universities, hotels, corporate dining facilities, and entertainment venues.+35 million lbs.$500,000

City of Arcata

Partnering with City of Eureka, Food for People, Humboldt State University

HumboldtExpand food rescue programs by increasing cold storage capacity, education/outreach efforts, and collection/distribution network among businesses, local institutions, and grocery stores, and through on-campus efforts.+170,000 lbs.$163,657
City of Novato
MarinPurchase refrigerated van and fund outreach effort for countywide ExtraFood food recovery program.+2.3 million lbs.$220,500

City of Palmdale

Partnering with Advancing Communities Together

Los AngelesPurchase transportation and refrigeration equipment to facilitate the addition of 12 food donation pickup locations, including local schools and vendors.+556,000 lbs.$174,000
Community Environmental CouncilSanta BarbaraPurchase equipment to expand existing Santa Barbara Food Rescue program enabling the safe receipt and storage of prepared food at three local colleges for redistribution to food-insecure students.+84,000 lbs.$116,355
CopiaSan FranciscoPurchase equipment, pay drivers, and expand the use of its logistics and technology platform to additional university and hospital kitchens to reduce food waste and collect surplus food for redistribution to students and vulnerable populations. +1.5 million lbs.$500,000
Family Resource Center of the Redwoods 
Del Norte Expand Pacific Pantry through infrastructure upgrades, the purchase of a refrigerated vehicle, and the development of a Del Norte Food Recovery Action Plan.+440,000 lbs.$302,106
Feeding San DiegoSan DiegoExpand existing food rescue and redistribution programs through the purchase of four modified vans and additional onsite cold storage capacity for partner agencies. +5 million lbs.$500,000
Food Bank of Contra Costa CountyContra CostaPurchase a refrigerated hybrid diesel truck and fund personnel to increase food recovery from local grocery stores; supply educational materials for food recipients.+691,000 lbs.$296,088

Food Forward*

Partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

Los AngelesPurchase refrigeration units and refrigerated trucks to increase collection of surplus produce from the downtown LA Wholesale Produce Market and at the Port of Los Angeles for distribution to 33 sites throughout the county.+3 million lbs.$428,563
Food In Need of DistributionRiversideExpand operations and upgrade equipment at Food In Need of Distribution Food Bank, which currently distributes food to roughly 85,000 people monthly. +500,000 lbs.$250,000
Food Recovery NetworkSan FranciscoPurchase refrigerators and fund transportation and outreach costs to expand food recovery and redistribution in college communities within the network’s California chapters.+340,000 lbs.$52,665
FOOD Share, Inc.VenturaBuild a produce cooler, purchase and staff a refrigerated truck, and expand food storage capacity to facilitate donations from local retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, processors, schools and other institutions.+700,000 lbs.$403,976

Fresno Metropolitan Ministry*

Partnering with Central California Food Bank

FresnoPurchase, staff and maintain two cargo vans to expand current food recovery and waste prevention operations to an additional 20 schools.+2.3 million lbs.$500,000

Galley Solutions

Partnering with LeanPath at Kitchens for Good

San DiegoTest a data-driven food waste prevention tool to analyze features, conduct improvements, and expand use in six additional kitchens.+1.4 million lbs.$333,821

Health Care Without Harm

Partnering with Sutter Health

AlamedaAnalyze current hospital food waste prevention and rescue projects and engage 10 Central Valley hospital facilities in programs to rescue food from cafeterias for donation using software tracking and transport technology.+672,000 lbs.$313,820
Hope 4 the HeartAlamedaPurchase refrigerated truck, commercial refrigerator/freezer, forklift, and other equipment to expand existing food rescue program.  +1.6 million lbs.$329,776
Jewish Family Service of San DiegoSan DiegoPurchase refrigerators, flash freezers, and box truck to expand current food rescue program and better preserve perishable donations.+832,000 lbs.$126,648
Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network*Santa ClaraPurchase additional trucks and fund staffing to expand mobile food distribution services and increase storage capacity. +1.1 million lbs.$350,000
Kern County*
KernExpand Waste Hunger Not Food program through purchase of refrigerated box truck and construction of two walk-in refrigeration units.+612,000 lbs.$266,795
Lost & Found Distillery, Inc. dba Misadventure & Co.San DiegoPurchase and install new de-packaging equipment to convert excess baked goods from food banks into beverage products.+252,000 lbs.$499,636

Marriott International

Partnering with LeanPath

OrangeImplement automated food waste tracking and measurement devices at 10 locations to drive actionable analysis and food waste prevention at hotel kitchens.+498,000 lbs.$250,745
San DiegoExpand Orchard Upcycler gleaning project during high picking season through purchase of cargo van, equipment, and outreach efforts.+100,000 lbs.$330,435
Re-plate, Inc.*AlamedaExpand to more cities through purchase of software and increased storage and staffing, enabling Re-plate to identify and rescue surplus food from businesses for delivery to local food redistribution facilities.+4.3 million lbs.$498,000
Sacramento Food Bank & Family ServicesSacramentoPurchase refrigerated truck and fund staff to increase food recovery capacity and enable additional donations from large food donors including manufacturers and wholesalers.+1.1 million lbs.$153,562
San Diego Food System Alliance, a Fiscal Project of Leah’s Pantry*San DiegoSupport Save the Food San Diego EcoChallenge consumer education campaign, which includes tracking select universities, jurisdictions, and businesses in pursuit of a 10 percent food waste reduction goal.+10.2 million lbs.$220,700
Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz CountySanta CruzPurchase refrigerated box truck and forklift, and fund staff to expand collection and distribution of rescued food to communities in need.+250,000 lbs.$358,804
SOULMUCHSan DiegoRecover edible, oversupplied grains from large restaurant chains and transform the product into flour to produce vegan cookies.+493,000 lbs.$100,441
St. Francis Center*Los AngelesHire staff and fund renovation/expansion of existing kitchen and refrigeration system, allowing shelter to accept donations from grocers, restaurants, food banks, local stores, and farmers markets to feed people in need.+2.1 million lbs.$363,846
Waste Not OC Coalition, a Fiscal Project of OneOC* OrangePurchase transportation and food preparation and storage items, and fund staffing to implement new food waste reduction and rescue efforts.+1.3 million lbs.$492,221
Waste Not Want Not NowLos AngelesHire staff and expand food rescue/redistribution vehicle fleet to enable safe storage and transport of donated food.+4 million lbs.$200,000
White Pony Express*Contra CostaPurchase refrigeration unit and software, and fund staff to expand existing food rescue program by adding at least six new school pantries.+2 million lbs.$286,530
Yolo Food BankYoloPurchase equipment to maximize efficiency at new warehouse facility, enabling food bank to quadruple its intake and distribution capacity.+4.6 million lbs.$500,000
Total +92.9 million lbs.
(+46,450 tons)

Eligible applicants for CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program include cities, counties, and other local agencies; businesses; California universities and colleges; nonprofit organizations; and qualifying Indian Tribes. Applicants may submit cooperative or regional applications with no more than four participants to achieve food recovery projections. Subscribe to CalRecycle’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant and Loan Programs Listserv.


What you need to know about California’s New Organics Recycling and Food Waste Prevention Law

SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) builds upon California’s commitment to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions statewide, improve human health, and create green jobs that support resilient local economies. Starting in 2022, California cities and counties must provide organics recycling collection to all residents and businesses. The law also establishes a statewide edible food recovery target that requires businesses and large generators to donate edible food for distribution to hungry Californians. Get email updates.

For more information contact, the Office of Public Affairs, opa@calrecycle.ca.gov

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