Arlene Karidis, WASTE 360
About 45,500 tons of food is dumped in California’s Sonoma County landfill each year, while about 82,000 of its citizens go hungry every month. The Sonoma County Food Recovery Coalition (SCFRC) is working to bridge that divide by diverting what is salvageable and edible to feed the hungry.
SCFRC is developing an online, countywide listing whereby charities can accept donations of produce, dry goods and prepared food. Donators will be able to enter their zip codes to find nearby drop-off locations for their surplus food. But the coalition, including government organizations, non-profits and individuals, has plans beyond this mapping tool.
“The SCFRC is dedicated to creating a community where food is shared equitably and where there is a deeper understanding of the valuable resources that go into producing food. We are working on community-based solutions to reduce food waste, increase food recovery, and create more awareness about this issue,” says Mimi Enright, program manager for University of California Cooperative Extension’s (UCCE) Community Food Systems. (UCCE is facilitating SCFRC’s initiative.)
As a corollary effort to the resource listing, SCFRC is planning an awareness campaign with both a consumer and business focus. And it’s developing a website to serve as a landing page to provide consumers and businesses with more information on how they can support food recovery.
One of the lead organizations is nonprofit CropMobster. It is building the listing technology. It will host the directory on its website and market it on its existing platform, which serves the San Francisco Bay Area.