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Edible Food Recovery for Schools

SB 1383 classifies local education agencies with an on-site food facility as “Tier 2 Commercial Edible Food Generators”. Tier 2 Generators include all local education agencies that have an operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends or otherwise provides food for human consumption. This includes school cafeterias, and vending machines with a food facility permit.

As of January 1, 2024, Tier 2 Generators must:

  1. Recover the maximum amount of edible food that would otherwise be disposed of. 
  2. Be under contract or written agreement with a food recovery organization/service that collects their edible food for food recovery, or accepts food that the agency self-hauls to the organization. 
  3. Maintain the following records:
    1. A list of each food recovery service that takes its edible food  under written agreement
    2. A copy of written agreements with each edible food recovery service
    3. A log of the types of food, frequency of food collection and quantity of food collection, measured in pounds per month

Only edible food that would otherwise be disposed must be recovered. Local education agencies are encouraged to implement programs that recirculate food within their school, like share tables. Share tables are set up during meal hours, where students can leave their unwanted food for classmates to take.

Schools and districts are not required to report to any entity on these programs, but they must maintain accurate and up-to-date records, which are subject to inspection for compliance.

Food Safety: There are no limits on the types or amounts of food that may be donated, as long as they are safe for human consumption. Prepared foods provided by school cafeterias likely require more careful handling, like time and temperature controls. Public Health Departments are responsible for monitoring food safety requirements.

For more information on edible food donation requirements, visit our Edible Food Recovery page.

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