California Fights Climate Change by Feeding the Hungry. $9.4 Million Awarded to 31 Projects that Feed Californians, Reduce Food Waste

SACRAMENTO–The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has announced the first award recipients for its new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program. As part of California’s comprehensive strategy to combat climate change, CalRecycle awarded $9.4 million to 31 projects throughout the state that:

  • Decrease the estimated 6 million tons of food waste landfilled in California each year, and

  • Increase the state’s capacity to collect, transport, store, and distribute more food for the roughly 1 in 8 Californians who are food insecure.

When sent to landfills, food and other organic waste decomposes and generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a heat-trapping effect at least 86 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year span.

“Bolstering California’s food recovery infrastructure will help feed communities in need, create new jobs, and result in significant greenhouse gas reductions,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “Our hope is that these programs will inspire similar efforts throughout California.”

CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

To be eligible for grant funding, projects must be located in California; result in permanent, annual, and measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and increase the quantity of California-generated food materials prevented, reduced, or rescued from disposal. Note: Many of the following grant recipients serve multiple counties.

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*Project funded with combination of FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18 allocations

Eligible applicants for CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program include cities, counties, and other local agencies; businesses; California universities and colleges; nonprofit organizations; and qualifying Indian Tribes. Applicants may submit cooperative or regional applications with no more than four participants to achieve food recovery projections.

Find out more about CalRecycle’s California Climate Investments grants and loans and read stories from other grant recipients about how they're putting Cap-and-Trade dollars to work for California's economy, environment, and the health of our communities.