A group of volunteers in front of cucumbers and watermelon waiting to be donated to Californians in need.

Jurisdictions need to identify the capacity of local food recovery organizations like this one.

SB 1383 requires each jurisdiction in California to implement an edible food recovery program, which will:

  • Feed hungry people
  • Create new green collar jobs
  • Strengthen relationships between food donors and food recovery organizations
  • Help create sustainable funding for food recovery organizations
  • Build more resilient communities

Food Recovery organizations matter more than ever to communities facing: 

  • High rates of food insecurity
  • A public health pandemic
  • High rates of unemployment
  • Climate change impacts

While food recovery infrastructure exists in some areas of California, it is not consistently available throughout the state, especially in rural areas.

Even areas with many food recovery organizations still lack enough storage and transportation to meet current needs. Our existing infrastructure for food recovery and distribution must expand.

Safe Surplus Food Toolkit (guidance for food facilities)

Safe Surplus Food Donation Toolkit (guidance for environmental health departments)

Requirements and Capacity Planning

Though SB 1383 doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2022, jurisdictions should start assessing their community’s current food recovery capacity to prepare. In some communities, food donors will have more food available for donation than food banks and non-profits can currently accept. 

Jurisdictions must actively expand and create new infrastructure to grow food recovery networks. 

SB 1383 allows mandated food donors to donate to food banks and pantries, soup kitchens, and other non-profits as well as food recovery services that collect donated food and deliver it to a food recovery organization. A capacity planning assessment should address the following questions:

food recovery volunteers standing in front of the Waste Hunger Not Food Kern County food recovery van.


  • How much edible food is currently disposed by mandated food donors in the jurisdiction?
  • How many food recovery organizations and services operate in the jurisdiction?
  • What infrastructure do these food recovery organizations and services have?
  • How much food do these organizations and services currently recover? 
  • What kinds of food do these organizations and services accept for food recovery? (e.g. produce, fresh grocery, cold prepared foods, hot prepared foods, etc.)
  • How much additional food could they recover each month? 
  • What types of food donors do they typically recover food from? (e.g. wholesalers, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, etc.)
  • How many new food donors could they accept food from?
  • If they cannot accept more food or add new donors, what would they need most to recover additional food and begin working with new donors? (e.g. more funding for paid staff, refrigeration, storage space, refrigerated vehicles, paid drivers, donation matching software, inventory management software, kitchen equipment, etc.) 
  • What new infrastructure needs to be built and does this require new funding? 
  • If new funding is required, how much funding is needed to recover the amount of edible food available for food recovery. 

Educate all Regulated Food Donors Beginning in 2022.

Regulated Food Donors Include:  

  • Supermarkets
  • Grocery Stores
    Facilities ≥ 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Food Service Providers
  • Food Distributors
  • Wholesale Food Vendors
  • Restaurants
    Facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats
  • Hotels
    with an On-Site Food Facility and 200+ Rooms
  • Health Facilities
    with an On-Site Food Facility and 100+ Beds
  • Large Venues and Events
  • State Agency Cafeterias
    Facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats
  • A Non-Local Entity
    with an On-Site Food Facility


Two volunteers standing in front of crates of milk cartons waiting to be donated..

Food donors will have to establish contracts or written agreements with food recovery organizations so that the maximum amount of their excess edible food is recovered to feed people. 

Food donors will also have to keep records of the following information to demonstrate compliance:

  • Types of food recovered 
  • Pounds of food recovered 
  • Frequency that the food is recovered

Food donors will have to track the amount they donate by weight and maintain up-to-date records. Jurisdictions are required to educate food donors about these requirements and monitor their compliance. 

Monitor Food Donor Compliance

Jurisdictions will be required to monitor food donors’ compliance with SB 1383’s edible food recovery requirements. Beginning on January 1, 2022, jurisdictions must have an enforcement and inspection program that includes inspections to verify:

  • Edible food recovery contracts and written agreements
  • Recordkeeping
  • That mandated food donors offer for donation the maximum amount of edible food they would otherwise dispose. 

Inspections of Tier 1 will begin in 2022, and Tier 2 in 2024. Jurisdictions can combine inspections of mandated food donors with existing mandatory inspections of food facilities. 

Two women volunteers serving food at a soup kitchen.

The regulations include a permissive provision that a jurisdiction may fund the actions taken to comply with the jurisdiction’s edible food recovery program requirements through:

  • Franchise fees
  • Local assessments
  • Other funding mechanisms

This provision supports the development of a sustainable funding source to help jurisdictions cover food recovery program implementation costs.

CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant program invested $20 million in seed money to expand food recovery infrastructure. 

These grants have already provided:

  • 86 million meals 
  • 345 local jobs

The grant recipients are featured in Feed People & Combat Climate Change

Model Tools

CalRecycle developed the following SB 1383 tools to assist jurisdictions with implementing their food recovery program requirements.

Model Franchise Agreement

Model Food Recovery Agreement

Model Enforcement Ordinance