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Food Waste Prevention & Recovery Grants

Available to nonprofits, businesses, institutions, and school districts, these grants fund innovative pilots and projects that prevent surplus food from being generated by redesigning the way food is produced, processed, distributed and/or prepared. Funding is also available for projects that recover and redistribute surplus edible food that is donated to address food insecurity and nourish communities.

Who can apply 

  • This grant is available to nonprofits, businessess, institutions, and school districts in Alameda County.
  • Organizations with open grants will need to contact current grant manager to assess repeat funding eligibility.

Eligible projects

  • Prevent surplus edible food from being generated or disposed of in Alameda County.
  • Upcycle food by-products generated during the manufacturing or production process that would otherwise go to waste.
  • Recover and re-distribute surplus edible food from business donors or other food recovery partners.
  • Efforts that prevent the wasting of nutritious, culturally appropriate food and ensure equitable, dignified distribution to underserved communities.

Non-eligible projects

  • Projects that compost or recycle food are not eligible for funding.
  • Requests to purchase vehicles, trucks, or vans will not be considered for funding.

Priority will be given to projects that

  • Incorporate food waste prevention approaches.
  • Recover and distribute prepared food from donors such as large restaurants, healthcare facilities, events, K-12 school districts, and hotels. 
  • Implement client choice food distribution models.
  • Provide donated food to underserved communities not currently reached.
  • Focus on food donation and promote additional services such as employment, housing, and economic empowerment.
  • Demonstrate community partnerships and support. 

Priority will be given to projects that focus on one or more of the areas mentioned above. Projects not focused on priority areas but that meet the general requirements will still be considered. For additional information on the priority areas for Food Waste Reduction grants, click here. 

Examples of eligible projects

  • Software or services that help manage food inventory to minimize wasted food through tracking and proper ordering.
  • Purchase of new or upgraded equipment to reduce food loss.
  • Secondary re-sale projects—redirecting surplus food that would otherwise go to waste through other channels such as apps or tools that connect customers to discounted food sources, prioritizing communities that lack affordable access to food.
  • Funding technology that extends the shelf-life of pre and post-consumer food.
  • Upcycling food by-products generated during the food manufacturing/production process that would otherwise go to waste.
  • Recovering re-distributing surplus edible food from business donors or other food recovery partners.

Funding amounts

Up to $30,000 per grant

Grant application is now closed. 

Grant Application Timeline

Applications Due: March 14, 2024
Grant Awards Announced: May 24, 2024


Grantee Highlights

Tri-Valley Haven's Food Pantry: Nourishment with Dignity

Tri-Valley Haven supports survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness and poverty, with a focus on Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore. With a Food Waste & Recovery grant from StopWaste, the nonprofit has not only dramatically increased the amount of fresh, healthy, and nutritious food their food pantry distributes, but also switched to a “client choice model,” empowering pantry visitors to select those items that best suit their lifestyle, traditions, and health needs.

Read more

DSAL grantee highlight

OCUEJ: Free Food Stand with Fresh Produce and Hot Meals

Oakland Communities United for Equity and Justice (OCUEJ) recovers almost expired and slightly damaged food from bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants, and other commercial kitchens—often in collaboration with various local partner organizations—and redistributes it via their Free Food Stand to low-income and unhoused community members. A portion of the food is turned into nutritious hot meals by participants of OCUEJ’s Cooks Program who learn valuable cooking and food handling skills in the process. Grant funds helped pay for equipment and storage, distribution costs, Cooks Program trainers, and trainee stipends, enabling OCUEJ to increase the amount of food rescued and hot meals served.

DSAL grantee highlight

FoodShift: Teaching Skills While Upcycling Food

Based in the City of Alameda, nonprofit FoodShift runs a culinary training program where apprentices overcoming employment discrimination turn recovered surplus food into delicious meals for community members. Using grant funds, FoodShift expanded their food production to make dog treats by upcycling locally sourced, recovered surplus produce and other food by-products that are not fit for human consumption and would typically go to waste. Dubbed PAWsitive Bones, this social enterprise not only prevented waste but also afforded volunteers and student interns valuable skills, from sourcing upcycling ingredients to production, packaging, and marketing.