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FY 2019-20 Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program

Grants to California Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, Tribes,
School Districts, and IHEs to Divert Food Waste from Landfills

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Deadline Date:

11/20/20 11:59 PM


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Grants to California nonprofit organizations, for-profits, government agencies, tribes, school districts, and IHEs for projects that divert food waste from landfills. The purpose of this program is to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of new food waste rescue and prevention projects, as well as the expansion of existing programs.

The Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged and low-income communities. 

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.

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.

Eligible Costs can be found in the Procedures and Requirements document, page 6. See Supporting Documents below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181719

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

$150,000 minimum and $300,000 maximum per grant award

Term of Contract:

The Grant Term begins on the date that CalRecycle sends the Notice to Proceed email. The Grant Term ends on April 3, 2023.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

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): Cities, counties, and cities and counties as defined in Public Resources Code section 30109, Regional or local sanitation agencies, waste agencies, or joint powers authorities
- 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. A “private, for-profit entity” is defined as a business intended to operate at a profit and return a profit to its owners. The business must be qualified to do business in California and be in good standing with all applicable California state agencies, including, but not limited to, the Secretary of State and the Franchise Tax Board. Any and all subsidiaries, divisions or affiliated businesses are considered part of the primary business entity for the purpose of applying for and receiving a grant award. A business is considered an “affiliated business” if it has at least one owner with a forty (40) percent or greater interest in another applicant business
- 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, which:
1. Is recognized for special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of the status of its members as Indians; or
2. Can establish that it is a government entity and that meets the criteria of the grant program

CalRecycle requires that any application that includes a charter city (either as an individual applicant, as part of a joint application, or as a member of an applicant Joint Powers Authority) include a certification by the applicant that all charter cities included in the application are eligible to receive grant funds for the project described in the application. If it is later found that grant funds were received in violation of Labor Code section 1782, the grant will be terminated, and the grantee will be required to return any grant funds.

Projects resulting in a net increase of GHG emissions are ineligible and will not be recommended for funding.

Ineligible Costs can be found in the Procedures and Requirements document, page 7. See Supporting Documents below.

Pre-Application Information:

November 6, 2020: Question and Answer Period
- Questions may be submitted from application release date to this date.
- Questions regarding the application and its requirements must be submitted in writing via email.
- Questions and answers (Q&A) will be posted periodically during the Q&A period.
- It is the applicant's responsibility to check the Q&A web page regularly to ensure that they are aware of all program details.

November 20, 2020: Application due by 11:59 PM
- Application Access: applications must be submitted via the Grants Management System (GMS) by this date.
- Customer service will be provided until 4:00 PM on the application due date.

December 18, 2020: Secondary Due Date
- The approved Resolution/Letter of Commitment must be uploaded in GMS by this date.
- If applicable, an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing and Practices (EPPP) Policy must be adopted and the EPPP Notification document must be uploaded in GMS by this date.

March 2021: Grants Awarded
- CalRecycle considers funding recommendations, and if approved, conditionally awards grants during this month (tentative).

February 28, 2023: Grant Performance Period
- Grantee may incur costs after the issuance of the Notice to Proceed to this date.

- April 3, 2023: Deadline for: Final report and final payment request.

Grant payments will only be made on a reimbursement basis.

Approval of Criteria:

Q&A page:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Direct questions to:
Stephanie Frieders
Greenhouse Gas Reductions Grant Programs

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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