Alameda County Community Food Bank Expands Food Recovery Program With California State Funding, New Hybrid Truck

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State funding from CalRecycle comes in anticipation of SB1383 implementation. New truck will grow ACCFB’s food recovery efforts by 1 million pounds annually; program’s environmental impact will be equivalent to removing 1,000 cars from roadways.

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Food kept from landfill through Alameda County Community Food Bank's retail food recovery program will have the environmental impact of taking 1,000 cars off Bay Area roadways.

In advance of the implementation of California State Senate Bill 1383 (SB1383), Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) today announced a major expansion of its Food Recovery Program. With funding from California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s (CalRecycle) Organics Grant Program, secured by Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc., ACCFB unveiled a new hybrid truck which will be instrumental in the Food Bank expanding its leading food recovery efforts by 1 million pounds annually.

SB 1383 establishes a 75 percent reduction of organic waste ending up in landfill by 2025 – and an additional target of at least 20 percent reduction of edible food waste to be rescued for consumption instead. Food Banks are key partners in the success of this greenhouse gas- reduction bill.

In a ceremony at Alameda County Community Food Bank, California State Senator Nancy Skinner noted, “The brilliance of this truck is that it will help the Food Bank recover 1 million more pounds a year, so that food can feed people rather than polluting the air. This is an incredible day to enhance food security and help our climate pollution problem.”

Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb and representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, State Assemblymember Rob Bonta, and Alameda County Supervisors Wilma Chan and Keith Carson also attended the ceremony, underscoring the critical role ACCFB plays in both hunger-relief and sustainability efforts.

Expansion of Food Recovery is a core part of ACCFB’s efforts to serve 1 in 5 county residents experiencing or at risk of hunger. The Food Bank already serves as the largest food recovery organization in Alameda County, recovering more than 10 million pounds of healthy, surplus food—nearly one-third of its total food distribution—from manufacturers and retailers annually. Its retail food recovery arm began in 2012 and today recovers 5 million pounds of food through more than 100 retail partners, which in-turn help 50 of the Food Bank’s 270 agencies. To date, ACCFB has provided the equivalent of more than 24 million meals through its retail Food Recovery Program.

Environmental Impact on Low-Income Communities
The effects of greenhouse gas emissions disproportionately affect low-income communities, so SB1383 is of particular interest to anti-poverty organizations like Alameda County Community Food Bank for its dual hunger and environmental impacts. The new truck is the first hybrid vehicle in the Food Bank’s fleet. When fully utilized, ACCFB estimates the food kept from landfill through its retail food recovery program will have the environmental impact of taking 1,000 cars off Bay Area roadways, annually.    

“California communities are pioneers and know best how to connect surplus food to neighbors in need rather than adding to the estimated 11 billion pounds of food landfilled in the state each year,” says CalRecycle Acting Director Ken DaRosa. “Environmentally conscious partnerships, like the one between Alameda County Community Food Bank and Waste Management, make our communities healthier by feeding Californians in need and reducing organic waste that contributes to climate change when it decomposes in landfills.”

“The impact of the CalRecycle grant through California Climate Investments cannot be overstated. It was crucial to the public, private and non-profit partnership that formed around our collective efforts to divert food from landfill disposal,” said Barry Skolnick, president of Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. “This grant has already paid huge dividends in recovered food for people in need. It also enabled us to maximize our investment in technology to divert organics for composting at the Davis Street Transfer Station for added greenhouse gas savings.”

“Alameda County Community Food Bank was created 35 years ago this week, and it’s only fitting that we commemorate this anniversary with a leap forward like this,” says Suzan Bateson, executive director of Alameda County Community Food Bank. “It was a partnership among a group of our food pantries through which we were born. Today, it’s partnerships like this one – with Waste Management, CalRecycle, grocers, and our committed network of agency partners – that demonstrate meaningful and impactful solutions to hunger are possible.”    

About Alameda County Community Food Bank
Alameda County Community Food Bank—Feeding America’s 2016-2017 Food Bank of the Year–has been at the forefront of hunger relief efforts in the Bay Area since 1985. This year, the Food Bank will distribute the equivalent of 28 million meals. More than half of the food distributed is farm-fresh produce. The Food Bank serves 1 in 5 Alameda County residents by distributing food through a network of 267 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community organizations, as well as direct-distribution programs including Children’s Backpack and Mobile Pantry. For 13 consecutive years, Alameda County Community Food Bank has received Charity Navigator’s top rating — Four Stars — ranking the organization among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide. Learn more at http://www.accfb.org.

ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT OF ALAMEDA COUNTY, INC.
Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. is a local provider of environmentally-friendly solutions for waste. We are closing the loop on waste – turning food scraps and yard trimmings into compost, lumber debris into mulch and landfilled waste at the Altamont Landfill into biofuel. This clean-burning fuel helps to power our fleet of natural gas vehicles. We deliver local solutions with the knowledge and resources of the nation’s largest recycler, Waste Management. Visit http://www.wm.com for more information.

About CalRecycle
CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. CalRecycle’s Organics and Food Waste Prevention and Rescue grant programs are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative 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 communities.

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Michael Altfest
Alameda County Community Food Bank
+1 (510) 635-3663 Ext: 330
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