Edible Food Recovery

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Donating surplus edible food to feed others is not only a smart idea, but as of January 1, 2022, it is State law.

In December 2021, the City Council adopted an ordinance to add Santa Maria Municipal Code Chapter 8-21 in compliance with SB 1383. This new chapter of the Santa Maria Municipal Code establishes new programs, monitoring, enforcement, and reporting related to mandatory organics recycling. You may review this new ordinance of the Santa Maria Municipal Code online

California Senate Bill 1383 mandates that by 2025 at least 20 percent of the edible food that is currently disposed must be recovered and donated for human consumption. Local businesses will have to comply with these new regulations. Setting up a food donation system now makes it easier to comply with future State mandates.Foodbank boxes

Every year, Santa Maria restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses discard tons of edible food. Businesses can now redirect that food to the plates of hungry families.

Food donation is a safe, simple practice with meaningful benefits for local businesses and our community – helping reduce food waste while helping feed our city’s food insecure residents.

Working with participating vendors, businesses can easily donate food to local non-profit organizations.
Food Distribution Service Map.Graphic of map pin drop for grocery bag

 Mapa del Servicio de Distribución de Alimentos


Who must comply:

To determine if your food generating business is covered by SB 1383, see the definitions outlined below.

Tier One Generators
Deadline for compliance: As of January 1, 2022
Supermarkets: A full-line, self-service retail store with gross annual sales of two million dollars ($2,000,000), or more, and which sells a line of dry grocery, canned goods, or nonfood items and some perishable items.
Grocery Stores: Grocery store with a total facility size equal to or greater than 10,000 square feet.
Food Service Providers: An entity primarily engaged in providing food services to institutional, governmental, commercial, or industrial locations of others based on contractual arrangements with these types of organizations.
Food Distributors: A company that distributes food to entities including, but not limited to, supermarkets and grocery stores.
Wholesale Food Vendors: A business or establishment engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of food, where food (including fruits and vegetables) is received, shipped, stored, and prepared for distribution to a retailer, warehouse, distributor, or other destination. 

Tier 1 CEFG Flow Chart
Tier 2 CEFG Flow Chart   

Tier Two Generators
Deadline for compliance: January 1, 2024
Restaurants: Restaurant with 250 or more seats, or a total facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet.
Hotels: Hotel with an on-site food facility and 200 or more rooms.
Health Facilities: Health facility with an on-site food facility and 100 or more beds.
Large Venues: Large venue means a permanent venue facility that annually seats or serves an average of more than 2,000 individuals within the grounds of the facility per day of operation.
Large Events: Large events means an event, including, but not limited to, a sporting event, a flea market or a festival, that charges an admission price, or is operated by a local agency, and serves an average of more than 2,000 individuals per day of operation of the event, at a location that includes, but is not limited to, a public, nonprofit, or privately owned park, parking lot, golf course, street system, or other open space when being used for an event.
State Agencies: A State agency with a cafeteria with 250 or more seats or a total cafeteria facility size equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet.
Local Education Agencies: A local education agency with an on-site food facility. Local education agency means a school district, charter school, or county office of education that is not subject to the control of city or county regulations.


LESS WASTE: Food donation helps our community by reducing the amount of food waste that goes to the landfill or compost stream.

HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: Less waste means lower greenhouse gas emissions and a better use of resources.

HEALTHY FAMILIES: Food Donation provides nutritious meals for thousands of Santa Maria households in need.


PUBLIC RECOGNITION: Donating food demonstrates your dedication to the local community

SMARTER CHOICES: Tracking the amount of food you produce helps your business become more efficient.

TAX INCENTIVES: Donating food that would have been discarded may qualify you for higher tax deductions.


Food Recovery Organizations and Services


CalRecycle Food Recovery Website (SLCP)
Santa Maria Municipal Code Ordinance about organics recycling
CalRecycle's Edible Food Recovery Organizations Webpage
Model Food Recovery Agreement
Sample Food Recovery Agreement


Request for Information from Food Recovery Services and Food Recovery Organizations (English)
Solicitud de informacion de servicious de reuperacion de comida comestible y organizaciones de recuperacion de comida comestible *SU RESPUESTA ES REQUERIDA

Letter to Businesses about edible food recovery program (English)
Letter to Businesses about edible food recovery program (Spanish)

Capacity Planning (image)

IMPORTANT: As a Food Recovery Organization, you are required to submit the edible food recovery capacity information to the City. Click here to complete the form.

FAQs about Edible Food Recovery Program