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Reusable Foodware Infrastructure Grants

These grants provide funding for innovative projects that replace single-use, disposable foodware with reusable systems. The funded projects will help StopWaste explore the feasibility of reusable foodware systems for a wide range of settings. The goal is to develop infrastructure in Alameda County that makes reusable foodware accessible to businesses and consumers without negatively impacting cost or compromising convenience. 

If you have any questions about this grant category or would like support with your application, please reach out to Ben Duggan

NOTE: Grant projects will preferably involve several partners, possibly including reusable foodware service provider(s). If you are seeking partners in this space for your grant proposal, please consider reaching out to entities listed on StopWaste’s pre-approved list of reusable foodware service providers. To submit your organization’s qualifications to be added to the list, click here.   

Who can apply

  • This grant is available to nonprofits, businesses, institutions, and school districts. 
  • Projects must be located in and/or serve the residents and/or businesses of Alameda County. 
  • Organizations with open StopWaste grants in any category will need to contact their current grant manager before applying for a new grant award. 

Eligible projects

  • Projects must replace single-use (disposable) foodware generated in Alameda County with reusable foodware solutions.
  • Projects that involve recycling or composting-based solutions are not eligible for funding. 
  • Projects that recycle waste materials into new materials, products, or compost do not qualify for funding. 
  • Projects looking to fund smaller reusable foodware or equipment purchases for a single site or location may be better suited for support from our technical assistance program before seeking grant funding

Examples of eligible projects

  • Implementation of reusable foodware for dine-in and take-out at businesses or in institutional settings, with or without the involvement of one (or more) third-party reusable foodware vendor(s.)
  • Reusable foodware solutions at public events or large gatherings.
  • Launch or expansion of dishwashing or foodware rental services, meal delivery apps and services.
  • Innovative projects aimed at evaluating the feasibility of reusable foodware systems in specific settings with the goal of developing scalable infrastructure.

Funding amounts

Award range: $5,000 to $25,000 per grant. Larger projects may be funded depending on expected geographic and environmental impact. As a general guide applicants should consider these criteria for funding amounts:

  • Project scale: The project’s geographic spread, number of partner organizations and/or sites involved, projected quantity of disposable foodware replaced, and other impacts.
  • Replicability and upscaling: The pilot project’s opportunities for expansion, potential to serve as a model for others, etc. 
  • Long-term self-sufficiency: Projections for financial and operational self-sufficiency once grant funds are spent. 

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-Grants. More information here.

Grant application is now closed.  

Grant Application Timeline

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

Grantee Highlight 

Alameda County School Districts

Many single-use foodware items contain a class of persistent toxic chemicals that can leach into food, accumulate in the body and lead to serious health problems. To eliminate this risk, while also reducing waste, five Unified School Districts in Alameda County are piloting stainless-steel reusable foodware to replace disposable lunch trays, food boats and plastic sporks. Supported by grant funding, some pilots set up infrastructure to wash the dishes in-house while others use off-site dishwashing services.

Read more

Sparkl Reusables

Sparkl Reusables, in partnership with Spectrum Community Services, replaced disposable foodware with durable, reusable containers and tote bags to serve hundreds of hot meals daily to seniors at pick-up sites throughout Alameda County. With the help of a StopWaste grant, Sparkl purchased inventory, set up operations, and trained staff for the collection, cleaning and redistribution of the reusable foodware.

Read more