Feeding Organizations in Monterey County get a Boost from Local Jurisdictions

Feeding Hungry People and Not Landfills Reduces Climate Impacts

One in four people in Monterey County are hungry; the network of food pantries and food rescue organizations that serve those most vulnerable residents are mainly non-profits that rely on donations and volunteers.

To assist in expanding food recovery capacity, ReGen Monterey and Salinas Valley Recycles are excited to announce the Edible Food Recovery Grant Program. As food insecurity has no boundaries, all jurisdictions in Monterey County are working collaboratively to contribute to these grant funds.  This annual funding opportunity intends to award a total of up to $100,000 to non-profit organizations, businesses, or public entities that collect, generate, and distribute food to those in need within the County.

The new grant program, developed and administered in coordination with Blue Strike Environmental, kicked-off in June and awarded $20,000 each to the first five recipients: Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes, serving north county areas, Dorothy’s Place, serving the Salinas area, Meals on Wheels of Salinas Valley, serving the entire Salinas Valley, Victory Mission, serving Salinas and Peninsula Cities, and Shoreline Church, which serves all of Monterey County and its cities.  Each organization is using the funds to purchase various items including walk-in freezers, refrigerators, shelving, insulated meal carriers, etc.

The current Edible Food Recovery Grant cycle awarded a total of approximately $76,000 to the following five organizations: Boys & Girls Club of Monterey County, Salvation Army (Salinas, Monterey Peninsula, and Monterey County), and St. George’s Episcopal Church in Salinas. The next funding cycle will be announced in Summer 2023.

“This generous grant funding truly makes a difference in the lives of the working low-income families, farmworkers, and elderly, disabled, and unsheltered residents of the Pajaro Valley,” says Ashley Bridges, Executive Director at Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes and grant recipient.

This new funding opportunity supports California Senate Bill (SB) 1383 – Short Lived Climate Pollutants, which mandates a 75% reduction in landfilled organic waste and a minimum of 20% of currently disposed of food recovered for human consumption. Ultimately, the aim is to reduce the amount of edible food that ends up in landfills while redirecting that food for the good of our local communities.

“Edible Food Recovery is a new program for solid waste and recycling agencies across the state, so we are eager to see how the funds benefit and expand the existing local food recovery network,” says Patrick Mathews, General Manager & CAO at Salinas Valley Recycles.”

The grant is intended to expand and enhance edible food recovery programs at food rescue organizations and services operating within the region to better accommodate state mandates and broaden community operations by:

  • Increasing the capacity of local food rescue organizations and services operating within the County;
  • Assisting in funding the purchase of equipment (i.e., commercial refrigerators and freezers), materials, and supplies that increase the total pounds of edible food an organization is able to recover and distribute to those in need;
  • Improving the region’s ability to respond to and comply with SB 1383 mandates, enabling businesses to donate the maximum amount of edible or prepared food that would otherwise be disposed of; and
  • Ensuring food safety as edible food recovery donations increase.

Working together locally on the Edible Food Recovery Grant Program are ReGen Monterey; Salinas Valley Recycles; and the cities of Carmel- by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside, and Soledad; Monterey County; and Pebble Beach Community Services District.

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Additional Information

More about ReGen Monterey: ReGen Monterey is the public name of the Monterey Regional Waste Management District. We serve a population of approximately 170,000 in 853 square miles, including the cities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Sand City, Seaside, and the unincorporated areas of Big Sur, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Corral De Tierra, Laguna Seca, Moss Landing, Pebble Beach, San Benancio, and Toro Park. Call 831-384-5313 for information or visit www.ReGenMonterey.org

More about Salinas Valley Recycles: The Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority, a.k.a. Salinas Valley Recycles (SVR), is a joint powers agency made up of the following local governments: Monterey County (eastern half of the unincorporated county), and the cities of Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Salinas, and Soledad. SVR owns and operates the only active landfill in the Salinas Valley, along with a recycling center and Household Hazardous Waste Facility just outside of Salinas, and a Transfer Station outside of King City. For more information visit www.salinasvalleyrecycles.org