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Grant FAQ

Frequently asked questions about StopWaste grants are organized into the categories below: 


My proposed project focuses on recycling and/or composting. Which grant category should I submit the application to?

Recycling and composting based projects ARE NOT eligible for this grant funding.

There are multiple grant categories, can I submit a grant application to more than one category?

No, applicants must pick one grant category and submit only one application per year. 

Can previously awarded StopWaste grantees apply for grant funding?

Yes. Please note that organizations and businesses with open grants must contact their grant manager to assess if they are eligible for additional funding. In general, previous grantees are considered in good standing and eligible to apply for additional funding if they have completed the first set of deliverables identified in current grant agreement prior to the grant round opening.

If my business or nonprofit is located outside of Alameda County but provides services in Alameda County, can we apply for funding?

Entities located in Alameda County are eligible for grant funding. Entities whose location is outside of Alameda are eligible to apply for grant funding if their projects are based in and/or prevent waste in Alameda County.

Can for-profit businesses apply for funding?

Yes, both for-profit and non-profit organizations may apply for funding in all grant categories with the exception of Surplus Food Donation Equipment (which is only available to nonprofit entities).

Can religious organizations (e.g., church, synagogue, etc.) apply for a grant?

Yes, any religious organization in Alameda County with a 501(c) (non-profit) designation can apply. 

Can schools apply?

Individual schools are not eligible to receive grant funding directly, however K-12 School Districts are eligible to apply in three grant categories: Food Waste Prevention and Recovery, Reusable Foodware, and Reusable Transport Packaging Equipment. Businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to create partnerships with school districts to implement a project. Contact the grant category staff contact to assess if your proposed project that involves school district would be eligible for funding. A letter of support from a school district administrator will be required.

Can an Alameda County government facility/department apply for funding?

No, Alameda County municipalities are not eligible for funding.

Are institutions eligible to apply?

Yes, institutions such as research labs, health care facilities, colleges, universities, and fairgrounds are eligible.

Is it an all-or-nothing application? For example, if we apply for the maximum and there is not enough funding (or funding will be more widely distributed), would the grant still be considered but for a lower funding amount? 

Our grants team has previously awarded reduced amounts to applicants, dependent on the total number of applications received, available funding, demonstrated need, and quality of applications.

What level of maturity are you looking for in a business in order to qualify for applying? Is a startup in a pre-seed stage eligible? 

Except for our equipment grants, most grant categories require financial statements, such as a profit & loss statement and balance sheets. However, if you are unable to provide those documents you may still be eligible for funding with an explanation and providing supporting documentation such as a business plan.  We encourage you to reach out to or speak with our staff by making an appointment.


Do I need to have insurance to be awarded funding from this grant program?

Except for Surplus Food Donation Equipment and Reusable Transport Packaging Grants, all applicants selected for funding will be required to maintain insurance for the duration of the grant contract. Please review the insurance requirements closely to determine that your organization can satisfy them if awarded. If you do not currently maintain the required insurance, please submit a quote, or estimate for insurance with your grant application. For the purposes of completing the application, insurance quotes are sufficient. If you are awarded a grant contract you will need to obtain insurance as part of the contract. Grant contracts cannot be executed until insurance is in place. Surplus Food Donation Equipment and Reusable Transport Packaging Grants do not require insurance.

I see insurance can be a line item on the grant budget. Is StopWaste covering the cost of liability and automobile insurance per nonprofit project? 

Grants may include the cost for insurance as a line item in the grant budget. Please review the insurance requirements closely to determine the types of coverage you will need if your project proposal is funded. Equipment grants do not require insurance.

Can I use the grant funds to pay for a new employee/position/payroll to implement the proposed grant?

Yes, however grant funding for any staffing position (full or part time) cannot be in excess of 50% of the budgeted salary or pay for that employee/position. This rule does not apply to contractor positions which can be 100% paid for with grant funds.  

Is there a way to get feedback on the viability of a project before I submit an application?

Yes, we encourage applicants to reach out to discuss proposals/project ideas. You can find grant category contacts by clicking here

Is there a way to provide feedback about the StopWaste Grant Application Process? 

Yes, we encourage applicants to provide feedback about our grant application process. Please fill out our survey by clicking here

Can funding be for an ongoing program, or does it need to be a new "replacement" program?  

StopWaste funding goals are to support upstream infrastructure and services available in Alameda County. Requests for ongoing program support are eligible but priority will be given for projects that develop/expand these types of businesses and services.

If my proposal is awarded funding, when can we begin work, and when should the project be completed?

Funding agreements will be executed by June 30, 2024, and project work can begin after the agreement has been executed. In general, we strive for project completion within a one-year timeframe (June 30, 2025). However, projects that identify a need for a longer implementation timeframe may be approved on a case-by-case basis.  

Can an organization utilize a Fiscal Sponsor to apply for grant funding?

Yes, but you must utilize a Fiscal Sponsor that meets the following definition:  

Fiscal Sponsor is an official fiscal sponsorship arrangement where the fiscal sponsor accepts tax deductible donations and grants on behalf of the sponsored project/organization. The sponsor accepts responsibility for the use of those funds and ensures the funds are used per the proposed project and utilized for charitable purposes, along with any additional grantor restrictions. To ensure this is not merely a pass-through of charitable dollars from the 501(c)(3) to the project, the IRS requires that the sponsor have “complete discretion and control” over the funds.

Please contact the grants team at for approval to utilize a Fiscal Sponsor in advance of submitting your application.

Grant Category Specific Questions

What types of equipment are eligible for Surplus Food Donation Equipment Grants?

Refrigerators, freezers, combination refrigerator & freezer units, storage shelving, reusable totes or bins, hot/cold boxes or packs, reusable cooler/pan carriers, reusable pallets/strapping, thermal blankets, dollies, utility carts, pallet jacks, scales (weighing equipment), cooking or food serving supplies; shipping & handling costs are eligible.

Please note: Costs related to labor and installation of equipment are not eligible for funding.
Vehicles/trucks are not eligible for funding under this grant.

What allowable expenses distinguish the Surplus Food Donation Equipment category from the Community Food Systems category? 

The Surplus Food Donation Equipment grant only provides funding for food donation/recovery equipment. The Community Food Systems grant focuses on multi-benefit projects (not just food recovery) and locally driven projects that strengthen local community food systems. Funding can cover equipment, if needed, and other project expenses.

Is funding for Reusable Foodware Grants only available to those on the approved vendor list?

Funding is available to organizations that are not on the approved vendor list. We strongly encourage partnerships and have pre-qualified the reusable foodware-related services that responded to our RFQ. If you are looking for a partner, this list is a great place to start! Providers on the list may also apply directly.

My restaurant would like to switch from single use disposable containers to reusable ones. Can we apply for a Reusable Foodware Grant?

If you are looking for a small funding amount to purchase reusable foodware items for a single business or organization, consider our Reusable Foodware Mini-Grant program. More information here.

Can a Reusable Foodware Grant be used to install dishwashers? 

Yes, the purchase of dishwashers is an eligible expense if the equipment will support the replacement of disposable foodware with reusables. 

What types of equipment are eligible for Reusable Transport Packaging Grants? 

Funding is for equipment to support the switch from single- or limited-use packaging used in manufacturing, transportation, and/or distribution—to durable, reusable alternatives designed for many years of use. Typical examples of eligible equipment include, but not limited to: durable plastic totes to replace cardboard shipping boxes, reusable mesh pallet wraps to replace disposable plastic wrap to secure pallet loads, durable pallets to replace typical wood pallets, durable intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) to replace single use gaylords/pallets. Contact for guidance relating to eligible equipment.

Can the Food Waste Prevention & Recovery grant be used to fund aspects of a food pantry?

Yes, support for food pantries and donation centers are eligible project activities.

Application Platform

What software does StopWaste use for its application platform?

StopWaste uses Good Grants. Check the Good Grants guide for applicants by clicking here.

Can I submit a Word document or a PDF application instead of using the online application platform?

No, applicants must use the online application platform to submit a proposal. To access the application platform click here. If you would like help with your application, please reach out to

How do I use the Application Platform?

Learn more about our online application platform by watching this quick tutorial video

What browsers and/or devices work best on the application platform?

All major browsers and both mobile and desktop devices will work.

Must JavaScript be enabled in my browser to use the application platform?

Yes, JavaScript must be enabled to use the platform. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Do I need to register an account to start on an application?

Yes, you need to register an account to start an application. For help with registration, check out this Good Grants guide. Please add and to your safe sender list to make sure you receive important notifications about your application.

Do I need to accept cookies to work on an application/Why can't I see the entire application?

You must accept essential cookies or all cookies for the application platform to work properly. When you log in for the first time, there will be a Cookies in use banner at the top of the screen. You must accept cookies for the system to work. If you are having problems with the application, it may be because you did not accept cookies. Please log out of the application platform, and then make sure to accept cookies when you log back in.

Why can't I enter information into the application, and when I try my cursor becomes a crossed out circle?

To access the main part of the application, you must first complete the eligibility tab, and click on the green Check eligibility button. If your proposal is eligible, there will be a confirmation message that you may proceed to the next stage. 

Can I save my progress and finish my application later?

Yes, you can save your work by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on the Save + next, or Save + close buttons. Applications are also saved automatically every 12 seconds while you work. After you submit your application, you can still return to your application to make any changes up until the deadline.

Can more than one person in my organization collaborate on writing and completing the application?

The system does not support more than one user at a time logged in with a specific set of credentials. Logging in with the same account by two different people at the same time can result in unsaved data and lost answers. You can download a PDF version of the blank application to share with your team so that they can work on the application offline, and then the main applicant can enter this content into the application platform.

I receive an "It is gone" message when I try to upload or open an uploaded document.

If your account stays open with no activity for too long, you will be unable to access uploaded documents, and may not be able to upload additional documents. To fix this problem, make sure to log out of your account and then log back in to continue work. Whenever you finish a work session on the application platform, we recommend saving and closing your application and then logging out rather than leaving your browser window open and staying signed in for extended periods of time.

Can I print out my grant application while I’m working on it?

Yes, log in to your account and while you are on the My applications page, click on the red PDF icon on the right side of the screen. This will download a PDF with all your completed questions and answers.

How do I know if I have completed the application and submitted all the right documents?

When you click on the Submit Application button at the bottom of the page, the platform will check if you have completed the application. If you have not completed all the requirements, you will see a red error message that your application is incomplete, and all the fields that need attention will be highlighted. If you have completed all requirements, you will receive the message “Thanks for submitting your application.” After submitting, you can still return to your application to make changes until the deadline.

I accidentally deleted part of my application. Is there a way to revert to an older version?

No, there is no way to revert to an older version or undo changes.

Can I get a copy of my completed grant application once I submit it?

Yes, after completing your application, log in to the application platform and click on the red PDF icon for the submitted application. This will download a PDF.

Where can I find my application that I already started working on?

Log in to your account on the StopWaste Application Platform. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find your "in progress" application in the "My applications" section.

The application platform is not loading properly, what should I do?

If the application platform is not loading properly, it's possible that your web browser may be retaining an older version of the page and you need to clear your browser cache. For instructions on how to do this across a variety of browsers, click here.

Have additional questions?