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Edible Food Recovery

Recover Edible Food: help families in need while Reducing ghg Impacts on Climate Change

Edible food recovery (EFR) is part of the implementation of California’s legislation (SB 1383) addressing climate pollutants and wasted food. To reduce food waste and help address food insecurity, SB 1383 requires that by 2025 California recovers 20% of edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistribute it to feed people in need. U.S. food waste is estimated to be 30-40% of the food supply, with Californians throwing away approximately 6 million tons of food per year. In the Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative 2022 report, over 40% of community members in Monterey County were determined to be food insecure. As part of SB 1383, surplus food still safe for people to eat will instead go to local food recovery organizations and services to help feed those in need. Diverting edible food from the landfill also prevents additional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the organic waste decomposition process. More information is available on the CalRecycle website and in the CalRecycle Edible Food Recovery FAQs.

The Safe Surplus Food Donation Toolkit was created for use and distribution by Environmental Health Departments across California to educate food facilities about safe surplus food donation. The toolkit includes information on liability protections, state mandates, and safe surplus food donation practices. 

Edible Food Recovery Grants
The Edible Food Recovery Grant Program is funded by ReGen Monterey, Salinas Valley Recycles (SVR) and their member agencies in an effort to support local food recovery organizations. Grant funds can be used for equipment and staffing that help local organizations increase their capacity to collect and distribute food to those in need. The application period has closed, but stay posted for the next grant funding opportunity!

The FY 2023-2024 grant funding opportunity awarded a total of up to $90,000 to organizations that collect, generate, and distribute food to those in need within the County of Monterey. In January 2024, grant funding was distributed to: CSU Monterey Bay, the Veterans Transition Center, Parallel Church, Meals on Wheels, the Gateway Center, Gathering for Women and the Fort Ord Environmental Justice Network.

In June 2022 ReGen Monterey and Salinas Valley Recycles distributed SB 1383 Edible Food Recovery Pilot Grants to increase edible food recovery capacity. Grants were distributed to Dorothy's Place, Loaves and Fishes, Meals on Wheels, Shoreline Church, and Victory Mission

Edible food generators (EFGs) can donate food through Careit! Careit is a food rescue app and website that makes it easy for businesses to donate surplus foodcareit_text_logo directly to local food recovery organizations (FROs). To get started, create a free account through the dashboard portal or app. Donations can then be posted as surplus food becomes available, or donations can be scheduled ahead of time.

Which businesses are required to donate edible food? CalRecycle requires Tier I and Tier II commercial EFGs to donate edible food to FROs. 
CalRecycle-Tier I_Tier II-Guidance

how you can help
Volunteers are needed to transport food from edible food generators to recovery organizations.
To get started, click the Careit volunteer link below the organization you'd like to volunteer for. To reduce food waste and help local food insecure families, edible food may be donated to the organizations listed below. 
Careit-Volunteering-IG-Post - Copy
Please refer to the organization's website, or contact them directly, for information on accepted donations and any specified collection days prior to drop off. Additional contact information and notes on accepted items.

For information on the City of Monterey's implementation of SB 1383's organic waste collection requirements, see the Organic Waste Recycling page.