San Diego’s Largest Food Aid Organization Receives More Donations in 2022

Senate Bill 1383 is a new California law that requires certain companies that generate food waste to donate their edible surplus to hunger relief organizations.

Since going into effect on January 1, Feeding San Diego has seen an almost 25% increase in edible food donations.

They also added 25 new food donors.

The organisation’s supply chain manager, Patty O’Connor, said the increase in donations comes as the need is higher than ever.

“So before the pandemic, about 90% of what we distributed to the community was collected and donated as food,” she said. “Now we are distributing more food because the needs have increased. So about 70% of what we distribute now is donated food and the remaining 30% is what we buy.

Jacob Aere

A Feeding San Diego employee moves pallets of food, April 25, 2022.

Stephanie Morris is the sustainability manager at Jimbo’s, one of the local grocery stores that donates its excess food.

“Previously it was around £7,000 a month last year and now this year it looks like around £15,000 a month across our four stores,” she said.

“A lot of that is because SB 1383 helps us change that mindset from salable to unsalable, and there’s kind of a middle way. Sellable, edible and then inedible.

In addition to helping feed those in need, the new bill has reduced the harmful effects of food waste on the environment.

“It’s a win-win situation,” O’Connor said. “By reducing the amount of organic food waste that goes to landfills and donating it instead to food recovery organizations, we are feeding people, not landfills.”

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Jacob Aere

The exterior of the Feeding San Diego delivery center is pictured April 25, 2022.

O’Connor said Feeding San Diego now saves about 2.3 million pounds of food each month.

RELATED: Feeding San Diego Receives Grant to Strengthen School Pantry Program

Feeding San Diego accepts donations from grocery stores, manufacturers and wholesalers throughout San Diego County, with the nonprofit managing more than 775 pickups each week.

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