Senate Bill 1383 is a new California law that mandates certain businesses that generate food waste donate their edible surplus to hunger-relief organizations.
Since it took effect on January 1st, Feeding San Diego has seen a nearly 25% increase in edible food donations.
They’ve also added 25 new food donors.
The organization’s Chief Supply Chain Officer Patty O’Connor said the increase in donations comes while need is higher than ever before.
“So pre-pandemic, about 90% of what we distributed to the community was rescued and donated food,” she said. “Now we are distributing more food because the needs have increased. So about 70% now of what we are distributing is donated food and the other 30% is what we’re purchasing.”
Stephanie Morris is the sustainability manager for Jimbo’s, one of the local grocery store companies that donates their excess food.
“It used to be about 7,000 pounds monthly last year and now this year it’s looking like about 15,000 pounds every month across all our four stores,” she said.
“A lot of that is due to SB 1383 helping us shift that mindset from sellable and unsellable, and there’s kind of a middle path. Sellable, edible and then not edible.”
Besides helping feed those in need, the new bill has been cutting down on the harmful environmental effects of food waste.
“It’s a win-win situation,” O’Connor said. “By reducing the amount of organic food waste that goes into the landfills and instead donating that to food recovering organizations, then we’re feeding people and not landfills.”
O’Connor said Feeding San Diego now rescues about 2.3 million pounds of food every month.
RELATED: Feeding San Diego Receives Grant Money To Boost Their School Pantry Program
Feeding San Diego accepts donations from grocery stores, manufacturers, and wholesalers all around San Diego County with the non-profit organization managing over 775 pickups every week.
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