Edible Food Recovery for Businesses

Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) was introduced by lawmakers to combat the 5-6 million tons of food that are discarded in the state each year. SB 1383 requires a 20% reduction in disposed edible food by 2025. In order to achieve this:

  • Jurisdictions must establish organic waste recycling for all residents and businesses.
  • Jurisdictions must establish edible food recovery outreach and inspection programs to help connect edible food generators with food recovery organizations and services that can redistribute or donate edible food to those in need.
  • Jurisdictions are responsible for ensuring there is sufficient county-wide capacity to recover and redistribute all edible food.
  • Certain edible food generators must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills by establishing contracts with food recovery organizations and services and keeping records of all edible food donated.
  • Food recovery organizations and services that work with edible food generators must maintain and submit records of donated edible food they have collected.

Food Generator Tiers

Food generators are categorized into two tiers based on food generation.

The tiers determine the timeline of compliance for the types of businesses.

Tier 1 food donations must begin January 1, 2022. 

Tier 2 generators must begin food donations by January 1, 2024. 

For more information on the tiers, take a look at our informational flyer(PDF, 999KB).

Tier 1 generators

Tier 1 food donations must begin January 1, 2022. 

Tier 1 generators include:

  • Supermarkets with revenue of $2 million or greater.
  • Grocery stores with facilities of 10,000 sq. ft. or greater.
  • Food service providers- Entities primarily engaged in providing food services to institutional, governmental, commercial, or industrial locations through a contractual arrangement with the organization.
  • Food distributors- Companies that distributes food to entities including, but not limited to, supermarkets and grocery stores.
  • Wholesale food vendors- Businesses engaged in the wholesale distribution of food, where food is received, shipped, stored, or prepared for distribution to a retailer, warehouse, distributor, or other destination.

Tier 2 generators

Tier 2 generators must begin food donations by January 1, 2024. 

Tier 2 generators include:

  • Hotels with an on-site food facility and over 200 rooms. 
  • State agency cafeterias that seats 250 or more or greater than 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Large venues and events that serve an average of greater than 2,000 individuals. Food facilities and vendors operating within the event must also be compliant with SB 1383.
  • Local education agencies with an on-site food facility.
  • Health and restaurant facilities over 250 seats or greater than 5,000 sq. ft.

Take the survey to record your progress

Please take the online Tier One Commercial Edible Food Generator Survey to record your progress as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 generator in the City of Lakewood.

Or, use the fillable PDF of the Edible Food Generator Survey(PDF, 534KB) and email it to the Public Works department after completing.

Report Annual Food Recovery Information

Download the form to enter your Food Recovery information.

Annual EFR Reporting Fill-In Form(PDF, 609KB)

When complete, email it back to the Public Works department to ensure compliance. 

Compliance for businesses

Businesses are required to recover excess edible food, establish contracts or written agreements (and provide copies annually to the jurisdiction), and maintain records of their activities. 

Recover excess edible food

SB 1383 does not require all excess edible food to be donated.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators:

  • Shall not intentionally spoil edible food that is capable of being recovered by a food recovery organization or service.
  • May give away excess food to employees, take it home for personal use, give it away to customers, etc.
  • Must recover (for human consumption) the maximum amount of edible food that would otherwise be disposed of. This can be accomplished by donating the food to a food recovery organization or service (i.e. food banks, food pantries, non-profits, or other entities).

Establish contracts or written agreements

Tier 1 and Tier 2 generators must establish contracts or written agreements with food recovery organizations and services.

  • Food recovery organizations and services vary in the amount and types of food they can receive, so edible food generators may need to establish contracts or written agreements with multiple food recovery organizations and services to be in compliance.
  • Contracts can include the establishment of a regular edible food delivery or collection schedule, identifying allowable edible foods for recovery, and cost-sharing options.

Maintain recordkeeping

Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators must maintain records of their food recovery activities, including: 

  • A list of each food recovery service or organization that collects or receives its edible food under a contract or written agreement.
  • A copy of contracts or written agreements between the edible food generator and a food recovery service or organization.
  • For each food recovery organization or service that the Tier 1 and Tier 2 edible food generators has a contract or written agreement with, records must be kept of:
    • The name, address and contact information of the service or organization.
    • The types of food that will be collected by or self-hauled to the service organization.
    • The established frequency that food will be collected or self-hauled.
    • The quantity of food collected or self-hauled to a service or organization for food recovery. The quantity shall be measured in pounds recovered per month.

Annually, food generators must provide copies of the contracts or written agreements to the jurisdiction within which it is operating.

Monitoring for compliance

Edible food generators are subject to inspections by the City of Lakewood to monitor compliance with the edible food recovery requirements set forth above. Inspections will review: contracts or written agreements between food generators and food recovery partners, schedules for food recovery deliveries, quantity of food recovered (lbs/month), and types of food each recovery organization will receive.

Non-compliant generators will be notified of violations and provided educational materials to help them become compliant. Beginning January 1, 2024, all edible food generators will be subject to fines for non-compliance.

Please view the brochure if you are interested in learning more about Edible Food Donation requirements.(PDF, 7MB)

FAQs on food donation

How do I make a food donation?

For information on how to start making food donations, please view the PDF on SB 1383(PDF, 7MB)

Where can I donate my food?

Food donations locations near the City of Lakewood are listed below:

What is considered “Edible Food”?

Edible food is food intended for human consumption but remains unsold because of appearance, freshness, age, grade, surplus, etc. Edible food includes, but is not limited to prepared foods, packaged foods, and produce. Recovered food must still meet the food safety requirements of the California Retail Food Code.

What does "food recovery" mean?

Food recovery is the collection and redistribution of edible food that would otherwise be sent to the landfills. Edible food recovery is the best way to conserve California's resources and reduce waste. 

Will I be responsible if someone gets sick from my food donation?

Businesses are covered by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Donation Act. The law protects good-faith food donors from civil and criminal liability, should the product later cause harm to its recipient.

What if my business is unable to comply, given certain circumstances?

In certain circumstances, businesses can be exempted from complying with SB 1383. The qualifications for an exemption include: space constraints, quantity of food and third-party recycling programs. For more information on these exemptions, you may visit the brochure on Solid Waste and Recycling Waivers(PDF, 303KB).

Additional resources

CalRecycle has developed a Model Food Recovery Agreement that can be used as an example for contracts developed between food generators and recovery organizations.

LA County's FoodDROP program facilitates the process of food recovery with a toolkit that includes:

  • Information on state legislation, organic waste diversion and food donation.
  • LA County Department of Public Health Food Safety Guidelines.
  • An interactive map of food recovery partners.
  • A tracking form for recovering food donations.