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Joint Venture tapped to oversee Santa Clara County food recovery

sandwichesAugust 26, 2021 — The Implementation Committee of the Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission of Santa Clara County has awarded $250,000 to Joint Venture’s food recovery initiative to oversee the launch of its first county-wide food recovery program. Over the next two years, executive director Robin Franz Martin and her team will guide county jurisdictions toward implementation of the food recovery requirements outlined in SB 1383, the first law in the nation mandating certain businesses to donate the maximum possible amounts of their surplus food.

An additional $50,000 has been awarded to Joint Venture to provide capacity analysis of the County’s existing food recovery process. It will enable leaders to make informed decisions about how best to increase the distribution and accessibility of recovered food. 

Martin will convene regional leaders and organizations and facilitate the drafting of ordinances that will guide the county and regional jurisdictions in implementation. The resulting set of strategies and tactics will provide a model for California counties and beyond. 

"Recovering excess food is one of the most cost-effective ways to fight climate change,” says Martin. “The health benefits are two-fold: We feed our Silicon Valley neighbors with nutritious surplus meals, and reduce greenhouse gases by keeping organics out of the waste stream."

The Food Recovery Initiative was also awarded $25,000 from LendLease Foundation to link food recovery organizations more efficiently to local businesses. Santa Clara County’s Public Health Department awarded $90,000 to support Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Food Recovery Council and data collection. 

"The County is grateful to be working with Joint Venture to complete the Food Recovery Capacity Analysis for Santa Clara County. With their specialized expertise, and strong relationships in the food recovery industry, we are confident we can develop a clear County-wide picture of the amount of food the region expects to recover and distribute to those who need it most," said Michele Young, Senior Management Analyst, Recycling and Waste Reduction, County of Santa Clara.

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Note: Senate Bill 1383 takes effect in January 2022 with sweeping legislation designed to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants by reducing organics waste disposal. It requires the collection of edible food that would otherwise go to waste and for its redistribution to feed people in need. It is the first law in the nation to mandate that certain businesses contract to donate the maximum amount possible of their surplus food.

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