San Lorenzo Family Help Center operates a daily food recovery program to assist in providing our clients with a wider variety of food products and to assist our community in reducing food waste. In January 2022, Senate Bill 1383 began enforcement to reduce waste by larger grocery stores, and will continue increased application through 2024 to reduce waste across other food manufacturing and distribution sectors.
In 2021, we were the recipient of a refrigerated cargo van provided through a grant from the Alameda County Community Food Bank. This was offered to increase the amount of food our food recovery program could receive and support the reduction of food waste. We have operated a recovery program for the past decade with volunteer drivers and are thankful for the addition of this van. We are grateful to the local stores who donate to our program and are please to provide the additional items through our daily distribution.
The following Information will help you understand what food recovery is, why it is done and what is happening in our state. This information is provided by CA.GOV Cal Recycle.
Food recovery means collecting edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to feed people in need. This is the highest and best use for food that would otherwise go to waste. Feeding hungry people through food recovery is the best use for surplus food and a vital way for California to conserve resources and reduce waste thrown in landfills.
Californians send 11.2 billion pounds of food to landfills each year, some of which was still fresh enough to have been recovered to feed people in need. While billions of meals go to waste, millions of Californians don’t have enough to eat.
These households often must choose between eating and basic needs like housing or medical bills.
In 2018, 4.3 million Californians (10.8% of California’s population) didn’t have enough to eat. By May 2020, that number had doubled, surging to 9.2 million Californians (23% of California’s population) who didn’t know where their next meal would come from during the COVID-19 economic crisis, according to the COVID Impact SurveyPDF download.
To reduce food waste and address food insecurity, surplus food still safe for people to eat will instead go to food banks, soup kitchens, and other food recovery organizations and services to help feed Californians in need.
This will save landfill space and lower methane emissions, a climate super pollutants, emitted by organic waste in landfills.
Senate Bill 1383 and Food Recovery
To reduce food waste and help address food insecurity, SB 1383 requires that by 2025 California will recover 20 percent of edible food that would otherwise be sent to landfills, to feed people in need. The law directs the following:
- Jurisdictions must establish food recovery programs and strengthen their existing food recovery networks
- Food donors must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills
- Food recovery organizations and services that participate in SB 1383 must maintain records