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Food Waste Reduction Grants

The 2019 funding cycle has closed for Reuse Grants.  The next cycle will begin in Spring 2020.

StopWaste’s Year 2020 Strategic Plan and Board adopted Guiding Principles prioritize the Prevention and Recovery of wasted food which still remains one of the single largest items going to landfill from Alameda County residents and businesses. This food represents wasted nutrients and calories intended for human consumption at a time when 1 in 5 residents seek assistance from the Alameda County Community Food Bank.  StopWaste has developed a grant program funding projects that prevent food waste and recover edible surplus food to feed people, the first two actions in the Food Recovery Hierarchy. 

During this funding cycle, grant funding will be available for new or expanded projects that can demonstrate a reduction in wasted food.  StopWaste will prioritize funding for innovative projects that prevent waste before it is created; increase recovery/food donation efforts; and involve a cross section of business types including high volume production kitchens and nonprofit feeding entities. This grant funding is for prevention and recovery, not food waste diversion for composting.

Projects recovering edible surplus food will be asked to document a reduction of food purchasing/inputs or a corresponding increase in food recovered/diverted from landfill to feed the hungry when possible. The Agency is seeking project models that have replicable or scalable components.

Eligible Projects for Food Waste Prevention Funding

The following is a sample list of projects the Agency may fund.  Other project ideas are encouraged:


  • Purchase and implementation of just-in-time purchasing software to reduce unnecessary purchasing of food.
  • Multi-agency or regional collaboration projects resulting in food waste prevention and reuse
  • Pilots for implementing best management practices such as kitchen planning, enhancing operations through portion controls, trayless dining, etc.

Recovery for People

  • Food donation programs or networks that focus on recovery of edible prepared food
  • Food repurposing following food safety guidelines, food recovery, gleaning, donation programs or equipment that increase or expand upon the amount of food diverted from landfill to feed people
  • Expansion of secondary markets for cosmetically damaged food
  • Development or use of new food donation management systems and networks

Projects NOT Eligible in this funding cycle:

The agency will be offering a separate equipment grant for purchasing and installing temperature controlled food storage equipment that builds capacity for food pantries/food banks, and food service establishments generating edible surplus food.   $5,000 - $10,000 per applicant will be available for purchasing energy star rated (when applicable) food storage such as refrigeration units, coolers or freezers used to safely store and transport rescued food. Visit the Reusable Transport Packaging webpage for more information.