What is “edible food”? Edible food is defined as food that is safe to eat for human consumption. This may include non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food at the end of its shelf life.
What is “food recovery”? CalRecycle defines food recovery as collecting edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to feed people in need. This type of food is salvaged from places such as restaurants, grocery stores, produce markets, and/or dining facilities and is distributed to local food programs.
The recovered food is edible but may not be sellable. Products that are at or past their “sell by” dates or are imperfect in any ways such as a bruised apple or day-old bread, for example, can be donated by grocery stores, food vendors, restaurants, and farmers markets. Often, restaurants and markets discard unused or unsold food into the waste stream.
According to Contra Costa County Health Services, approximately 1 out of every 6 people in Contra Costa County and in California are “food insecure”, which means individuals and families struggle to find their next meal.
RecycleMore has identified Food Recovery Organizations available to collect edible food in West Contra Costa County. If you would like to partner with one or more food recovery organizations, refer to the list below.
NOTE: Businesses that source and contract with food recovery organics may receive tax benefits for their donations and are protected from liability lawsuits. Please speak to your tax advisor as well as refer to laws around donating food and the specific acts:
Contra Costa County Health Services Department has developed tools and information for business to donate food successfully and safely. Please refer to their website for more information on donating food safely.
You may download and print out SB 1383 Food Recovery Informational Sheet with these Edible Food Recovery Organizations here [CLICK HERE].
1. Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano (a Feeding America affiliate)
Businesses within West Contra Costa County can easily donate their nutritious and unsold products to the Food Bank using Meal Connect platform. If you are a food business looking to donate product to the Food Bank, please use the website link below to connect with their team to schedule a pickup. Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, distributes 68,855,293 meals to people struggling with hunger in 18 Northern California Counties.
Acceptable donations: Bread/bakery, deli, dairy, meat, produce, dry goods (canned, packaged shelf stable)
NOTE: No opened packages accepted. All items must include appropriate product labeling AND ingredients, expiration dates and/or best-by and/or sell-by dates. Agency assigned for pick-up of donation has right to refuse any product based on temperature, packaging and volume.
Contact: Karen Collins, Food Resource Manager
Email: [email protected]
2. White Pony Express
Businesses can also participate in donating their edible food through White Pony Express, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that has rescued and delivered over 17 million pounds of food to Contra Costa Residents.
Acceptable Donations: Unpackaged produce (produce, meat, dairy, eggs, frozen items, shelf items, commercially produced food, and prepared food. (Any hot food being donated must be safely cooled down by the donor prior to it being picked up). Any time and temperature controlled food items requiring refrigeration must be kept refrigerated up until the food being picked up.
Please contact Food Sourcing Manager, Peter Olsen, to start donating your recoverable edible food, or access the link below to submit your intent via their online form.
Phone: (925) 322-0604 x129
Email: [email protected]
Online Intake Form: White Pony Express Edible Food Recovery Donation
Access the website of Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano (a Feeding America affiliate) to find local organizations that offer free food services to residents.