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Donate to a Food Rescue Organization

The City of Long Beach recommends working with a charitable or non-profit local organization to eliminate food waste and provide food to those in need. There are many benefits of donating food from your business to a food rescue organization: 

  • Reduce waste and disposal expenses
  • Comply with local mandates on waste
  • Receive a tax deduction
  • Contribute to a worthwhile cause that helps feed those in need

SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 75% reduction in the level of statewide disposal of organic waste and a 20% reduction in the level of statewide disposal of edible food. Increasing food waste prevention and encouraging edible food rescue will help reduce methane emissions from the disposal of organic waste.  

Recovering edible food and redistributing it to feed people in need is the best use for food that would otherwise go to waste. This page highlights the requirements to recover edible food so that it may be diverted from the landfill and reach people in need.  

SB 1383 Food Recovery Requirements

SB 1383 has several requirements that are focused on diverting organic material from the landfill. SB 1383 requires a reduction in the amount of edible food disposed of by businesses and requires commercial edible food generators to recover the maximum amount of edible food that would be disposed.  

Edible Food Definition

Edible food is food intended for human consumption that can be safely recovered and must meet food safety requirements of the California Retail Food Code.

Commercial Edible Food Generator Requirements 

  1. Recover the maximum amount of edible food that would otherwise be disposed beginning January 1, 2022. Non-compliant generators will be notified of violations and provided education materials through December 31, 2023; generators will be subject to fines for non-compliance beginning January 1, 2024. 
  2. Must arrange food recovery through a contract or written agreement with a food recovery organization or service that will a) collect food for recovery and/or b) accept food that the generator self-hauls. 
  3. Maintain records of food recovery donations including the following:
    • A list of each food recovery service or organization that collects or receives its edible food pursuant to a contract or written agreement.
    • A copy of contracts or written agreements.
    • A record of the following for each food recovery organization or service that the commercial edible food generator has a contract or written agreement with:

      • The name, address and contact information of the service or organization.
      • The types of food that will be collected by or self-hauled to the service or organization.
      • The established frequency that food will be collected or self-hauled.
      • The quantity of food collected or self-hauled to a service or organization for food recovery, measured in pounds recovered per month.

Please utilize this Model Food Recovery Agreement developed by CalRecycle to assist your business with SB 1383 compliance.

For guidance on successful edible food recovery and to reduce edible food waste, please view the Safe Surplus Food Donation Toolkit developed by CalRecycle. This toolkit includes resources such as food-waste prevention tips for grocery stores and restaurants, legal protections, a Food Donation Agreement Form, a Food Donation Delivery Form and more.

Monitoring for Compliance

Edible food generators are subject to inspections by the City of Long Beach to monitor compliance with the edible food recovery requirements set forth above. Non-compliant generators will be notified of violations and provided educational materials to help them become compliant; beginning January 1, 2024, all edible food generators will be subject to fines for non-compliance.

Defining Commercial Edible Food Generators 

Tier 1 – Effective January 1, 2022

  • Supermarkets with revenue ≥ $2 million
  • Grocery Stores with Facilities ≥ 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Food Service Providers
  • Food Distributors
  • Wholesale Food Vendors 

Tier 2 – Effective January 1, 2024 

  • Restaurant with 250 or more seats OR a total facility size of 5,000 square feet or more
  • Hotel with onsite food facility and 200 or more rooms
  • Health facility with an on-site food facility and 100 or more beds
  • Large venue
  • Large event
  • A state agency with a cafeteria with 250 or more seats OR total cafeteria size of 5,000 square feet or more
  • A local education agency facility with an on-site food facility 

Preventing the Creation of Edible Food Waste: Resources coming soon.


Will I Be Responsible If Someone Gets Sick From My Food Donation?  

Businesses are covered by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Donation Act. The law protects good-faith food donors from civil and criminal liability, should the product later cause harm to its recipient.


How Do I Make a Food Donation?

Contact the food rescue organization of your choice to arrange a food donation.

City of Long Beach Food Rescue Organizations