Grocery Store

Grocers can reduce waste by donating edible food to disadvantaged communities and by instituting best management practices for waste prevention.

Model Programs

The Safeway Foundation. This group focuses its hunger relief initiatives during the times of the year when the need for food donations is most critical: summer and the holiday season. Partnering with a local ABC network affiliate and major Bay Area food banks, it also sponsors the Safeway Summer Food Drive, which addresses the needs of children whose primary meal during the school year is lunch.

California Grocers Association. In Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Grocery Rescue program saves healthy food and shares it with neighbors in need. Grocery stores share excess food while saving on garbage disposal fees and receiving a tax incentive. The donations help Second Harvest diversify its menu.

Kroger anaerobic digester. At the Kroger distribution center in Compton (Los Angeles County), 150 tons per day of inedible food from Ralph’s and Food 4 Less markets in Southern California are used to create renewable fuel in the form of electricity. The electricity produced is enough to power 2,000 average homes and offsets about 20 percent of the facility’s power needs. Enough gas remains to power a fleet of zero-emissions forklifts.

Albertsons grocery stores participate in City of San Diego’s food scraps for compost program (YouTube, 03:29). Fifteen stores in the region have been participating since 2011, and each store averages 468 pounds of food scraps per day. Albertsons also participates in a food rescue program, donating edible food to the local Feeding America food bank.

In Yolo County, a Nugget Market in Woodland and a Safeway in Davis supply food waste to California Safe Soil LLC. The company takes food that supermarkets cannot sell or donate and turns it into a fertilizer registered by CDFA for use in organic agriculture.

For more information contact: Food Scrap Management,