Silicon Valley Food Recovery Council
With supporting funds from Wells Fargo, Joint Venture Silicon Valley convened a council of food recovery programs to support and improve the food recovery system in Silicon Valley. The Silicon Valley Food Recovery Council’s goals are two-fold: to reduce the amount of food that is wasted on a daily basis, and to help the almost one-in-four people in the community who face food insecurity.
With additional funding from Santa Clara County Public Health, as well as Joint Venture’s ability to convene the appropriate stakeholders and lessons learned through A La Carte, Joint Venture helps other nonprofits increase efficiency and recover more food.
Many nonprofits are active in the food recovery space. Coordination of efforts, sharing of resources, and more reliable communication have helped to bring the efforts of the smaller entities to scale. With strength in numbers, the council helps feed the growing population of those who are food insecure. With State law 1383 beginning January 1, 2022, food recovery organizations needed help to comply and increase capacity. Members include Hunger at Home, Martha’s Kitchen, Olio, Replate, Copia, No Time to Waste, Nuestra Casa, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen, Peninsula Food Runners, San Jose Conservation Corps and Chefs to End Hunger. Second Harvest of Silicon Valley and Village Harvest, a nonprofit focused on recovering excess fruit from orchards and backyards, also help support the efforts of the council.
Food Recovery Matching Tool
Looking for a food recovery service or organization to collect your business’s surplus food? These organizations are soliciting new relationships with donors and would love to talk about a partnership:
Members of the council include:
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen
Founded in1980, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen is a nonprofit organization created to respond to the growing issue of hunger, homelessness and food insecurity throughout Silicon Valley. Our mission is simple, yet profound – to provide nutritious prepared meals that are delivered and served to disadvantaged individuals with a special concern for families, children, seniors, veterans, seniors, students, the disabled and the homeless. We run the A La Carte program, a fleet of trucks, staffed by trained personnel who gather prepared and packaged food from corporate and university campuses for delivery directly into neighborhoods with high-density populations of people in need.
Hunger at Home
Hunger at Home serves as a conduit between the business and nonprofit communities to channel excess food and surplus goods to homeless and hungry individuals and families. Hunger at Home partners with convention centers, hotels, resorts, stadiums and entertainment venues to donate food and surplus to soup kitchens and other charities to feed those in need. We have donated over 2 million meals in the past 20 months. We also host events for our charity partners, donate gently-used amenities, china, glassware, bed sheets, and much more. Hunger at Home also proudly assists our charity and nonprofit partners with job placement and equipment needs.
Martha's Kitchen prepares 600,000 hot meals annually that are served both on site and at more than 60 partner locations throughout the region. These are healthy, complete, and nutritious meals to serve the hungry, including the homeless, working poor, disabled veterans, victims of domestic violence, impoverished youth, and many more at risk groups. Recovered food is one of the most critical elements to allowing us to do this, and if we had access to more recovered food, we would be able to serve more meals to the needy throughout this region.
Chefs to End Hunger
In partnership with our founder and primary logistical partner, Vesta Foodservice, Chefs to End Hunger (501c3) supplies packaging, transportation and logistics to recover prepared food from food service operators, as well as whole product from our regional warehouses and vendor partners. Our program currently operates within the business network of Vesta Foodservice, which covers all of CA, Las Vegas and the Phoenix area, with plans to scale to other service areas. In 2018 we recovered over 3.2 million pounds of prepared food and whole product and hit our 2019 target of 4 million lbs of food recovered!
OLIO is an app that works with both businesses and in homes to reduce food waste by building communities through sharing surplus and it's all free for anyone to use and request. We have 1.7 mil users worldwide and shared over 3mil portions of food.
Peninsula Food Runners
Peninsula Food Runners (PFR) dual mission is to recover nutritious surplus food to feed the needy and to reduce food waste in the San Mateo and Santa Clara County. Over 5 million pounds of food have been recovered since 2013 with the help of community grass root volunteers and a software called ChowMatch that is widely used in over 600 cities across US. PFR offers this FREE service in hopes, donors will share their surplus to feed the less fortunate. Soup kitchens, emergency shelters, senior and family affordable housing, churches, the homeless, those health and mental issues are all beneficiaries of this program. PFR volunteers are required to pass food safety test and donors are encouraged to adhere to food safety guidelines in order to donate. Word used to describe PFR's success: Dependable, Consistent, Reachable, Variety, Honest and have Wonderful Volunteers!
Replate is the new nonprofit - we leverage technology and activate community to reliably redistribute surplus food to those experiencing food insecurity. We track donation data and provide insights for our donor clients, while working with our recipient clients to ensure they receive the appropriate food for their programming.
Copia has developed the world’s first end-to-end solution to reduce waste for businesses, while solving for hunger and scarcity in communities across the nation. Restaurant chains, commercial kitchens, and food retailers use Copia’s mobile app and analytics to track and reduce surplus, while automatically connecting kitchens with on-demand drivers and nonprofits recipients to maximize financial, social and environmental impact from commercial waste reduction programs across the US and Canada.
Nuestra Casa exists to uplift Latino families in East Palo Alto and the mid-peninsula through community education, leadership development, and advocacy. Nuestra Casa delivers fresh groceries to apartment buildings in East Palo Alto and Redwood City. We work with local grocery markets to deliver these free items directly to families, removing any transportation barriers. Every Saturday morning, we set up a farmers' market-quality experience at locations throughout East Palo Alto with the help of our volunteers.
No Time To Waste
No Time To Waste was established in San Jose in 2013. Our mission is to provide donated food and essential goods for those in need. Our motto is: We match the Giver with the Need. We pick up donated food from local businesses, as well as essential goods from our National retail partners, and deliver these goods to charitable outreach programs. We focus on the pick up of ready-made meals that can either be eaten on the go or easily stored by our at-risk community members. We have provided over 59,000 lbs of food and 48,000 meals while reducing our carbon footprint by 20 tons and saving 29 million gallons of water.
San Jose Conservation Corps + Charter School
The San Jose Conservation Corps + Charter School works to develop the personal, professional and academic skills of young adults in Silicon Valley while making our community and environment more sustainable and resilient. Our Zero Waste Silicon Valley program works to divert many different types of waste from landfills, including food! The food we rescue contributes to greater food security in our corpsmembers, students and greater community. Together with our community composting program, we divert all of the surplus food we rescue from landfills, thus reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.