Posted by Anna Van
What does it take to become a Food Waste Warrior? Our interview with Clare Fox, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, may come to mind. To broaden the scope, the City of LA is taking the lead on answering that question by offering the Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge. Composting experts, urban farmers, nonprofit organizations, and beyond can all rejoice at this grant opportunity. Supporter and Climate Day LA Keynote Speaker, Mayor Eric Garcetti, is starting this challenge to raise public awareness for food waste prevention and recovery, and to catalyze innovation and resources to help Angelenos reduce food waste, recover food surplus, and turn waste into a resource. Although the challenge is expected to last a little over 60 days, the City intends for all projects to become replicable models on various scales (big and small) and sustainable beyond the length of the challenge.
Who can participate?
There are two types of grant opportunities available: an administrative grant and a project grant. Three grantees will be selected for the administrative grant category at $15,000 each. Non-profit organizations and neighborhood councils are invited to apply for this grant, serving as technical assistants and facilitators for project grantees. Administrator grantees work closely with project grantees to garner public engagement and networking–in person and through social media–to promote #FreeTheFood challenge for individuals living and working in Los Angeles. Another caveat for being eligible for the administrative grant is for the organization to demonstrate expertise in one or more of the four food waste challenge categories: food waste prevention, food donation, upcycled use, and composting.
The City will allocate $7,500 to each of the seven project grants available (one project for each of the seven City planning areas). Any organization or business is eligible as long as the project serves a defined geographic community and encourages public participation. The four food waste challenge categories (food waste prevention, food donation, upcycled use, and composting) apply to project grantees as well to divert food waste from landfills. Project deliverables include: measuring impacts in pounds of food diverted from landfills and number of Angelenos who participated through online pledges, events, and education efforts. At the end of the challenge, the City will showcase these metrics to set an example for future community efforts. The Bureau of Sanitation will use data for future pilot programs to reduce food from the waste stream.
Where can my organization apply?
The application is available on the City’s Department of Public Works blog. Applications can be submitted to Wendy Renteria (firstname.lastname@example.org; 213-978-0333). The deadline to submit your application is Friday, December 15, 2017. Projects are anticipated to start early next year on January 22, 2018.
The City Sustainability pLAn Connection
In the Mayor’s Sustainability pLAn, the City sets an ambitious goal to achieve at least 90% landfill diversion rate by 2025 and 95% by 2035. Diverting food from the waste stream not only reduces methane gas emissions in landfills and encourages upstream food waste prevention, but it also addresses food insecurity issues in Los Angeles. Project grantees can take part in helping the city achieve its waste diversion goal through innovation and public engagement. Help LA become the modern zero-waste city you envision it to be.
Learn more about the Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge here: dpw.lacity.org/blog/los-angeles-food-waste-grant-challenge.