The Los Angeles County Food Redistribution Initiative (LACFRI) is a county project that began in June 2016 which aims to provide resources to the public about safe methods to prevent, donate and recycle excess food, as well as support policies that divert food from landfills. Participants include several county departments, businesses, community members, and nonprofit organizations. To learn more about LACFRI, contact Bernadet Garcia-Silva, LACFRI Project Manager at bsilva@ph.lacounty.gov or call (626) 430-5454.

Your school or business can do their part in alleviating hunger and excess food.

Donating surplus food can be a great way to help charitable organizations that serve those in need and must be done in a way that minimizes food safety risks.

"A person or gleaner shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food or an apparently fit grocery product that the person or gleaner donates in good faith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to needy individuals."

Getting Started

  1. Plan Ahead – Find a nearby nonprofit organization
    • Visit www.211la.org, type “food” in the keyword search field, and type in your zip code. The closer it is to your facility, the better.
  2. Call and meet with the organization in advance
    • Determine the logistics
      • Which foods can they accept?
      • How much can they accept?
      • How often can they accept food?
      • When are the best times for them to receive food?
      • Can they pick up the surplus food or am I willing to deliver?
      • Start small and then gradually improve the process
  3. Understand the food safety guidelines
    • The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health – Environmental Health Division has prepared Food Donation Guidelines pdf icon to help facilitate safe food donations.

Did you know?

  • Los Angeles County throws away nearly 1.6 million tons of food every year.
  • 1.4 million people go hungry in Los Angeles County every day.

Food Donation Resources in Los Angeles County

Organizations that pick up surplus food and deliver it to the needy

Backyard harvesting, farmers market recovery, and wholesale recovery

Food Forward

General questions: info@foodforward.org

Donating backyard fruit: harvest@foodforward.org or call (818) 530-4125

Farmers Market Recovery Program (food rescue): fmrecovery@foodforward.org or call (818) 764-1022 ext. 6

Wholesale Recovery Program: luis@foodforward.org

foodforward.org/about/

Organizations that help connect donors to pantries/soup kitchens

Urban Harvester

Serving the Pasadena Area and Surrounding Communities
info@urbanharvester.org

urbanharvester.org

Additional food pantry directories

Note: Not all pantries are equipped to handle all food, call in advance first!

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

lafoodbank.org/get-help/pantry-locator

2-1-1 Los Angeles County

211la.org

Type "food" in the keyword search field, and type in your zip code. The closer it is to your facility the better.

Liability Information

State and Federal Food Donation Statutes protect you from liability:

Any food facility may donate food to a food bank or to any other nonprofit charitable organization for distribution to persons free of charge.
No food facility that donates food as permitted by Section 114432 shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty for violation of any laws, regulations, or ordinances regulating the labeling or packaging of the donated product or, with respect to any laws, regulations, or ordinances, for a violation occurring after the time of donation.
Except for injury resulting from negligence or a willful act in the preparation or handling of donated food, no food facility that donates any food that is fit for human consumption at the time it was donated to a nonprofit charitable organization or a food bank shall be liable for any damage or injury resulting from the consumption of the donated food. The immunity from civil liability provided by this subdivision applies regardless of compliance with any laws, regulations, or ordinances regulating the packaging or labeling of food, and regardless of compliance with any laws, regulations, or ordinances regulating the storage or handling of the food by the donee after the donation of food.
A person or gleaner shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food or an apparently fit grocery product that the person or gleaner donates in goodfaith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to needy individuals.
This section shall not be construed to create any liability. Nothing in this section shall be construed to supercede State or local health regulations.