Is Los Angeles County Prepared for California's Edible Food Recovery Mandate?
Findings from the Los Angeles Food Recovery Study
Photo by Alina Palimaru
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET
Edible food is rotting in landfills driving climate change, while many people go hungry—it's a double-headed problem with one potential solution.
A new state law, California Senate Bill 1383, came into effect on January 1, 2022. By 2025 California must reduce its organic waste by 75 percent and recover at least 20 percent of edible food that would otherwise have been disposed of.
Implemented locally, its goals are statewide. Major supermarkets and wholesalers must comply now. Hotels, hospitals, and other event venues must comply by 2024.
The nonprofit, non-partisan RAND Corporation has invested in research to understand the preparedness for SB 1383 food recovery in Los Angeles County. The report draws on a literature review and confidential interviews with 38 stakeholders. Join us for a discussion of key findings followed by a discussion with experts in food recovery, and a Q&A.
Alina Palimaru is a policy researcher at RAND. Trained as a health services researcher, Palimaru has academic and first-hand practical experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Much of her prior work identified disparities in health outcomes among vulnerable populations such as adults with physical disability, mental health and substance use problems, as well as adults with multimorbidity experiencing homelessness. Findings from her studies have been used by clients, such as Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and regional health plans, to modify their service provision to underserved populations. Palimaru holds a Ph.D. in health policy and management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, an M.P.P. from American University, and a B.A. in history, politics, and communication from Drexel University.
Danielle Osborne is an Environmental Scientist in CalRecycle’s Statewide Technical and Analytical Resources Branch. She serves as CalRecycle’s technical advisor for the edible food recovery requirements of SB 1383, California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutants Law. She received her bachelor’s degree in environmental science and management from the University of California, Davis, with a minor in urban sustainability.
Nancy Beyda's passion for her community has always expressed itself through volunteer work with our unhoused and food insecure neighbors. For almost ten years she has served on the Board of Directors of The Center, an organization working to end isolation and homelessness in Hollywood. It was this spirit of volunteerism that first led to Beyda's founding of FoodCycle, a Hollywood based non-profit that picks up excess food from businesses throughout Los Angeles and brings it to organizations serving those in need. Beyda started out small, picking up excess food from a single grocery store with a little help from her friends. Under Beyda's leadership FoodCycle has grown to serve almost 70,000 meals a week. They use innovative technology to expand their impact, serving over three million meals in 2021 in collaboration with hundreds of individual businesses and nonprofits, feeding people while reducing greenhouse emissions.
Mike Learakos has a 30-plus year career across all spectrums of the food industry. In addition to being the president of a foodservice company since 1993, Learakos also has extensive experience in food processing, procurement, facility design and distribution. Beyond the food industry, Learakos has a long history of community involvement supporting a wide variety of civic and non-profit organizations. Starting as a volunteer with Waste Not OC in 2013, Learakos used his experience to develop what has become the nation's most effective food recovery model recognized nationally for its innovation and effectiveness. Under Learakos' guidance, the organization became known as Abound Food Care working to develop food insecurity and food waste reduction solutions that brings together the public, private and non-profit sectors with a focus on the positive impact excess edible food can have on people and our environment.
Jennifer King is a program manager with Los Angeles County Public Works, managing several of the county's sustainability programs, such as Smart Business Recycling Program and the Food Donation and Recovery Outreach Program. She has also been providing outreach to Multi-Family Residents and Schools in County unincorporated communities to promote zero-waste environment. Recently, she's involved in SB 1383 edible food recovery capacity assessment and planning for Los Angeles County, and providing educational outreach to large edible food generating businesses and local food recovery agencies regarding SB 1383's food recovery requirements. King has a masters degree in environmental science and is happy to be able to relate her educational background with her interests at work.
Laura aspires to help people and make a difference. She has over 30 years of customer service experience. In April 2020 Laura lost her job during the pandemic, and soon after began working full time at the New Challenge Ministries Food Bank in South LA. In her role, she oversees standard operation procedures, structure and efficiencies in handling food, volunteers and a welcoming atmosphere for their customers. New Challenge Ministries Fresh Rescue Food Bank began distributing food to families in November 2005 as part of their mission to service the community. In 2021, they assisted over two million people. They also provide services for individuals experiencing homelessness, through outreach groups that go out weekly to distribute food, blankets, clothes and hygiene products.
Other panelists to be announced.