Food Recovery Program

Global Green would like support for the expansion of its Food Recovery Program in Los Angeles. In 2019, Global Green, in partnership with City of Santa Monica, Postmates and TetraTech, piloted a food rescue system to eradicate food insecurity and combat climate displacement, water usage, and greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles. Global Green would like to finalize this pilot program and expand this comprehensive food rescue system that provides a sustainable solution to both hunger and environmental challenges.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

According to the California Food Policy Advocates, “Across California, 4.7 million adults and 2 million children live in low-income households affected by food insecurity. Food insecurity means having limited, uncertain, or inconsistent access to the quality and quantity of food that is necessary to live a healthy life. Having sustained access to enough food is tied to positive social, physical, and mental health outcomes.” Los Angeles is one of the largest concentrations of food-insecure populations - over 2 million Angelenos face food insecurity, translating to 1 out of 5 individuals in the county. The high costs of housing and transportation, coupled with a 20% poverty rate, have contributed to these hunger statistics. The implications are far-reaching: an increase in disease, adverse health, and growing medical costs. Our project provides a sustainable solution to hunger by tackling systemic inefficiencies in food waste through food donation, diversion, and conversion.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

This project is important to the work of Global Green because it aligns with our mission, which includes creating green cities and businesses and improving livability. Global Green has been working in Los Angeles since we launched in 1994. It is a place where we love to work, and a place where we are known, trusted and connected. In addition to our long-term involvement, Global Green is uniquely suited to take on this food recovery program because through our pilot program, we are testing solutions to each of the barriers to urban food waste rescue so that the program can be scaled throughout the City of Los Angeles this next year and ultimately, replicated by many other communities.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 5,000

Indirect Impact: 4,000,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Global Green's Food Recovery Program circularizes the urban food system and generates value from food waste to meet the needs of our underserved communities and populations. At least 5000 people will be fed by the food donated from the restaurants to the food banks, which will indirectly impact the population of Los Angeles due to the greenhouse gases (GHG) reduced by diverting food from the landfill. This program applies AB1826 and SB 1383, which require commercial establishments to divert food waste to composting and donation. This program contributes to the legislations' goals to reduce statewide GHG emissions below 2013 levels by 2030, reduce organics disposal by 50% by 2020, and recover 20% of edible food for human consumption by 2025.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

- Develop a semi-automated analytical framework that tracks interactions between restaurants and non-profits, demographic information, and greenhouse gas reductions.

- Divert 1,000,000 lbs. of food from partner restaurants to local food banks, equaling 90,000 meals ( This is measured by the food banks with the food scales they are provided.

- At least 20% recovery of total food waste per establishment to feed 5,000 people in Year 1, and double reach through the LA2050 community. This is measured by the food waste audits that are conducted by TetraTech and Global Green.

- Recruit a total of 50 Los Angeles based restaurants for the Food Recovery Program. Outreach and education of compliance requirements to at least 300 restaurants in Year 1

- Reduce 233,000 tons of Greenhouse Gas Equivalents by diverting food from landfill. This is measured by our formula that converts food weight to greenhouse gas tons.

- Add 5 food banks in Year 1. Current food bank partner is Upward Bound House, and we are in communication with Safe Place for Youth, St. Joseph Center Food Pantry, and Westside Food Bank

- Prototype and test new revenue models consisting of a surcharge revenue model to fund maintenance and scale of the food waste rescue system to create ongoing program sustainability

Which of the LIVE metrics will your submission impact?​

Access to healthy food

Food insecurity

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Office space for meetings, events, or for staff