Edible food recovery program

Senate Bill 1383: Edible food donation and recovery

Edible Food Recovery ProgramThis page is designed to help organizations and businesses comply with new State law Senate Bill (SB) 1383 edible food recovery requirements. Food recovery means collecting edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to feed people in need.

What is SB 1383?

SB 1383 is a state law that establishes targets to reduce food waste that would otherwise end up in the landfill, and to increase edible food recovery by 20%, by 2025. Cities and counties are required to monitor and implement a food recovery program to advance these goals.

What does SB 1383 require?

  1. Food Generators must donate to food recovery organizations (such as food banks and/or food pantries) the maximum amount of edible food they would otherwise throw away.
  2. Food Recovery Organizations must track edible food donations and report to the City on an annual basis.
  3. Cities must educate food generators and organizations, conduct routine inspections and monitor for compliance.

Why the requirement?

Approximately one in four Californians do not have enough to eat. Food recovery not only provides food to those in need, but also conserves resources and reduces the amount of food waste in landfills. As food waste decomposes in the landfill, it creates large amounts of methane gas which negatively impacts the environment.

Who must comply?

Food generating businesses

Businesses that produce, sell, and serve food must arrange to recover and donate the maximum amount of edible food that would otherwise be thrown away. These businesses are categorized into the following two tiers:

Tier 1

  • Must begin donating and tracking food donations by January 1, 2022
  • Grocery store with a total facility size equal to or greater than 10,000 square feet
  • Food service provider
  • Food distributor
  • Wholesale food vendor

Tier 2

  • Must begin donating and tracking food donations by January 1, 2024
  • Restaurant with 250 or more seats, or a total facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet
  • Hotel with an on-site 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 of 250 or more seats or a total cafeteria facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Local education agency with an on-site food facility

What is required of my business?

Enter into a written agreement or contract with a food recovery service(s) or organization(s) to collect or receive your edible food

Maintain records of the following:

  • Types of food donated
  • Pounds donated per month
  •  Frequency of donations
  • Name, address, and contact information of the contracted food recovery service(s) and/or organization(s)
  • Businesses shall not intentionally spoil food that can be recovered
  • Large venues or large event operators shall require food facilities operating onsite to comply with the food recovery requirements


City may request data on an annual basis for compliance reporting to CalRecycle. More information can be found at CalRecycle’s website for Food Donors.

Edible food recovery organizations

Food recovery organizations that accept donations from Tier 1 or Tier 2 businesses are subject to new reporting requirements. These organizations must maintain records and report annually to the City beginning January 01, 2022.

What is required of my organization?

A food recovery organization or service that has established a written agreement or contract with either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 business shall report annually to the City and maintain records of the following:

  • Name, address, and contact information for the Tier 1 or Tier 2 business from which your organization is accepting or collecting food
  • Pounds collected/received/transported from each food donor per month


Food Recovery Organizations shall report to the City the total pounds of edible food recovered in the previous calendar year from Tier 1 and Tier 2 commercial edible food generators they have established a contract or written agreement with pursuant to 14 CCR Section 18991.3(b) no later than March 31st of each year.

Calrecycle tools & resources

Food recovery organizations and services

  • Donate your surplus edible food to one of these Santa Ana organizations
  • Connect with a Food Recovery Service to assist with establishing your food donation program:

Abound Food Care can help your business reduce food waste and set-up a food edible donation program. Their Food Donation Program is free to you and easy to implement. Abound Food Care partners provides tools to safely and efficiently donate excess edible food to nearby food banks and pantries. www.aboundfoodcare.org  or call 1-855-700-9662.

Second Harvest Food Bank works with hundreds of businesses and organizations to distribute food in every city throughout the county. They provide food to hundreds of local charities and organizations who distribute food to those in need at more than 350 locations throughout the county. www.feedoc.org

Chefs End Hunger mission is to facilitate the redistribution of prepared food from hotel, restaurant and other foodservice customers, to local charitable organizations that serve meals to their communities in need. www.chefsendhunger.org

Community Action Partnership of Orange County offers a food donation program. They welcome food from food industry manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. www.capoc.org/oc-food-bank

Food Finders offers a food rescue program. Their daily Food Rescue Program is unique from food banking, termed ‘rescue’ because they are keeping good, edible food from being lost to a landfill. The process is simple: overage food from restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, schools, and more is collected and delivered directly to nonprofit shelters, missions, pantries, and centers where it is used to feed people who are disadvantaged and food insecure.  www.foodfinders.org

These organizations are privately owned facilities and/or operations and are not affiliated with the City of Santa Ana. This list has been developed to assist businesses to find food recovery organizations pursuant to SB 1383 and is not intended to be exhaustive.

Food donation regulations

All food donations must meet the food safety requirements of the California Retail Food CodePDF download.

California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

Provides liability protections for entities that make good faith donations of surplus food. AB 1219 clarifies and expands liability protections for donated surplus food by:

  • Creating a more comprehensive list of entities covered by law
  • Explicitly states that donation of past-date food is subject to liability protection
  • Expands liability protection to donations made by food facilities, which are subject to food safety regulations and inspections, directly to individuals for consumption (direct donation)
  • For the original donor, there is no protection for gross negligence or intentional misconduct; for the ultimate distributor, there is no protection for gross negligence, or intentional misconduct

Federal Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

Donors are protected under the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act: “a person or gleaner shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition or apparently wholesome food or an apparently fit grocery product that the person or gleaner donated in good faith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to needy individuals.”

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