Funding: Total: $4,000,000. Maximum awards: $150K-$300K.

Dates: Question and Answer Period and Due Date: November 6, 2020. Application Submission Deadline: November 20, 2020.


The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) administers the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program pursuant to Public Resources Code section 42999 of the Public Resources Code. The purpose of this competitive grant program is to lower overall greenhouse gas emissions by expanding existing or establishing new food waste prevention and/or rescue projects in California to reduce the amount of food being disposed in landfills.

Project Topic Areas:

Eligible projects include:

  • Food waste prevention projects that prevent food waste from being generated and becoming waste that is normally destined for landfills.
  • Food rescue projects that result in rescued food being distributed to people, that would otherwise be destined for landfills.
    • Any food waste residuals from the food rescue project must be composted or sent to a digester within the project service area (if available).

Eligible expenses and activities will be described in the application documents. Eligible expenses will include, but are not limited to: refrigeration systems, refrigerated vehicles, personnel, food waste prevention tracking equipment/software, and food preparation items.


There is a total funding of $4,000,000 available for fiscal year (FY) 2019-20. $150,000 is the minimum available and $300,000 is the maximum available for grant awards per application.

Project Requirements:

Projects must be located in California and result in permanent, annual, and measurable:

  1. Reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributed to the production, processing, packaging, distribution, and landfilling of California-generated food waste; and
  2. Increases in quantity (tons) of California-generated food waste, newly diverted from landfills, and prevented or rescued from disposal.

“Newly diverted” means the tons of materials that are currently being landfilled that will instead be diverted as a result of this project. Projects resulting in a net increase of GHG emissions are ineligible and will not be recommended for funding. For food rescue projects, grantees may not duplicate the reporting of the pounds (of food materials) rescued. If a grantee is working with another CalRecycle Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program grantee to rescue food, only one grantee can claim the diversion amount. The Grant Manager may request that a grantee adjust the pounds reported.

Eligible Applicants:

Only two distinct and separate applications per qualifying entity will be accepted (this also applies to each campus for the University of California, the California State University, or California Community Colleges). Eligible applicants may submit an individual, cooperative (typically for two or more private entities), or regional application (typically for two or more local government entities). For a cooperative or regional application, one entity must be identified as the lead participant to act on behalf of the participating entities. A maximum of three other participants are allowed because it is not efficient for one entity to administer the grant on behalf of a large number of participants. Lead participants and participating entities are subject to the two-application rule.

Eligible applicants include: Local governments (cities, counties, or cities and counties), Nonprofit organizations (except private schools) registered with the federal government under 501(c)3, (c)4, (c)6 or (c)10 of the Internal Revenue Code, B-Corp and Benefit Corporations, Private, for-profit entities, State or federal agencies (including offices, department, bureaus, and boards), University of California campuses, California State University campuses, or the California Community College campuses, Solid Waste Facilities, Public School Districts, Qualifying Indian Tribes, defined as an Indian tribe, band, nation or other organized group or community, residing within the borders of California.