Jurisdiction Food Recovery Programs

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 and underserved areas.

Even areas with many food recovery organizations may lack sufficient collection, storage, and distribution resources to meet the amount of food that will be donated as a result of this new law. Our existing infrastructure for food recovery and distribution must expand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Safe Surplus Food ToolkitPDF download (guidance for food facilities)

Safe Surplus Food Donation ToolkitPDF download (guidance for environmental health departments)

Requirements and Capacity Planning

Identifying Commercial Edible Food Generators

SB 1383 regulations list 12 categories of commercial edible food generators that will be required to send surplus food to food recovery organizations.

You will need to identify a list of commercial edible food generators that have a location within your jurisdiction in order to complete the following activities:

  • Provide education and outreach to tier one and tier two commercial edible food generators by February 1, 2022
  • Assess their community’s current food recovery capacity and plan for additional capacity if it is insufficient to accommodate the amount of food that commercial edible food generators must send to food recovery organizations
  • Inspect commercial edible food generators to verify that they have established a contract or written agreement for food recovery and the generator is maintaining records of their food donation activities. Verifying these helps ensure they are sending the maximum amount of edible food they would otherwise send to a landfill
  • Post contact information for food recovery organizations on the jurisdiction’s website so that commercial edible food generators can identify which organizations could potentially accept their food

CalRecycle has compiled guidance and best practices to help jurisdictions identify regulated businesses to successfully manage a food recovery network in their community.

Guidance for Jurisdictions: How to Identify Commercial Edible Food Generators

Capacity Planning

Although 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 may 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 work with food recovery organizations like food banks and pantries, soup kitchens, and food recovery services that collect excess edible food and deliver it to a food recovery organization.

Learn More

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

Educate all Regulated Food Donors Beginning in 2022.

Mandated 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
  • Large Events
  • State Agency Cafeterias
    Facilities ≥ 5,000 sq. ft. or 250+ seats
  • A Local Education Agency
    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

For more information contact: Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reductions, SLCP.organics@calrecycle.ca.gov