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New San Diego law expected to increase food donations to food banks and pantries

January 10, 2022

Starting January 1, 2022, San Diego placed a new law into effect, called Senate Bill 1383, that requires grocery stores and other food suppliers to donate all edible food waste to food rescue organizations or food banks.

This law was put into effect as an effort to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, considering that organic food waste is a large contributor of methane and carbon dioxide emissions. This bill aims to reduce toxic organic waste disposal in San Diego by 75% by 2025.

In order to ensure the most effective outcomes of this law, food suppliers will need to have a contract in place with a local food rescue organization to donate their food waste to. While the intentions of this law are focused on environmental health, it’s definitely a win for food-insecure communities, food banks, and rescue organizations.

"According to ReFED, about 35% of all food goes to waste. What we’re trying to do is prevent that," said Patty O'Connor, the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Feeding San Diego. "It’s a really great win-win relationship all around.”

Currently, this law is only applicable to grocery stores and food suppliers, but in 2024 restaurants, hotels, and schools will also be required to comply.

In California, more than 4 million people are food insecure with 1 in 7 children facing hunger. In San Diego County alone, more than 300,000 people are food insecure. Feeding San Diego coordinates 40.3 million meals to San Diegans and 770 weekly food pick ups every year, but still struggle to have enough food donations to match the needs of their food-insecure communities.

Move For Hunger is also working hard to eliminate hunger in California. Since the organization’s inception in 2009, we’ve delivered more than 1,880,000 lbs of food (1.6 million meals) to more than 45 food banks throughout the state, with more than 350,000 lbs delivered in 2021. In San Diego alone, Move For Hunger has transported more than 250,000 lbs of donations to 10 different food banks since 2009.

Are you ready to make an impact against food insecurity in your community? Sign up to host a food drive, fundraiser, or turn your miles into meals by joining our race team today! You can also stay updated on hunger news by checking out our blog page!