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Local Schools Win State Funds to Combat Food Waste

January 30, 2018

Oakland, CA  –  Livermore and Oakland schools will be able to make a bigger dent in tackling food waste after being awarded a $500,000 CalRecycle Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant. Project partners also include ALL IN Alameda County and StopWaste. 

The awarded Smart Cafeteria Initiative will utilize and expand upon food share tables in every school cafeteria across two school districts to capture and sort unwanted food from lunch that is generated during or after meal service. Surplus food will be available for hungry students to consume at school, then to families from the school community. 

Food donation at all sites will capture a projected 275 tons of edible food over the grant period. In Alameda County, food remains the largest single category of waste going to landfill, and yet 15% of residents are food insecure. 

“We appreciate CalRecycle’s support in reducing greenhouse emissions and diverting edible food from landfill, said StopWaste Executive Director Wendy Sommer. “This project will create a replicable model for other school districts to follow.”

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District are currently implementing food share tables and have made a commitment on a district level to institutionalize this program. ALL IN, serving as an innovation incubator to end poverty in Alameda County, will recruit, hire and train Food Recovery Specialists through Civicorps and transport food from school sites to food recovery organizations. StopWaste will oversee the grant, provide technical assistance, and implement household outreach and schoolwide Stop Food Waste challenges.

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