Edible Food Waste (SB 1383)
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 Survey.
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.
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