Food recovery means collecting edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to feed people in need. Feeding hungry people through food recovery is the best use for surplus food and a vital way for California to conserve resources and reduce waste thrown in landfills. Californians send 11.2 billion pounds of food to landfills each year, some of which was still fresh enough to have been recovered to feed people in need. While billions of meals go to waste, millions of Californians don’t have enough to eat. To reduce food waste and address food insecurity, surplus food still safe for people to eat will instead go to food banks, soup kitchens, and other food recovery organizations and services to help feed Californians in need. This will save landfill space and lower methane emissions, a climate super pollutant, emitted by organic waste decomposing in landfills.

Senate Bill 1383 and Food Recovery

To reduce food waste and help address food insecurity, SB 1383 requires that by 2025 California will recover 20 percent of edible food that would otherwise be sent to landfills, to feed people in need. The law directs the following:

  • Jurisdictions must establish food recovery programs and strengthen their existing food recovery networks
  • Food donors must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills
  • Food recovery organizations and services that participate in SB 1383 must maintain records


Edible food means food intended for people to eat, including food not sold because of:

  • Appearance
  • Age
  • Freshness
  • Grade
  • Size
  • Surplus

Edible food includes but is not limited to:

If you have any questions, please contact Alma Fernandez at