State Awards Innovative Grant to Tackle Food Waste and Hunger in Santa Clara County

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Silicon Valley Food Rescue to Close Gap On 125 Million Needed Meals


SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— The County of Santa Clara is announced last Thursday January 25th that Joint Venture Silicon Valley (a local organization funded by the County of Santa Clara to find solutions to waste and hunger in the county) has been awarded a prestigious State of California grant for $313,000 as part of Cal Recycle’s Food Waste Prevention & Rescue Grant Program.

The Cal Recycle Grant was crafted by representatives from Joint Venture Silicon Valley, and the County of Santa Clara’s Recycle and Waste Reduction Commission. The Commission, which provides leadership for county-wide planning, works to assure the success of cooperative programs to reduce, reuse and recycle materials that otherwise would be disposed of in landfills. Joint Venture Silicon Valley will be responsible for administering the grant.

“We are committed to finding innovative ways to end waste and, more importantly, end hunger within Santa Clara County,” said Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who represents the County of Santa Clara at the Recycle and Waste Reduction Commission. “We look forward to having Joint Venture Silicon Valley administer this program.”

Nationally, the U.S. spends $218 billion a year growing, processing, transporting and disposing of food that is never eaten, while too many people (especially children and the elderly) go to bed hungry each night. In Santa Clara County alone, more than 200,000 people are living below the official poverty line, with one in six Bay Area residents facing food insecurity.

Food Rescue Services, Barriers, and Recommendations in Santa Clara County, a 2015 Food Shift report commissioned by the Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission revealed that more than 34 million pounds of edible food are discarded in local landfills. The Cal Recycle’s Food Waste Prevention & Rescue Grant will allow the County to make a significant change that will benefit vulnerable communities.

“This is the next step in the war on hunger,” said Joint Venture President & CEO, Dr. Russell Hancock. “By utilizing already prepared food we can close the gap in food inequity and strive to ensure no child goes to bed hungry.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to be working with the many employees of the County of Santa Clara and county cities, who were instrumental in securing this Cal-Recycle grant,” added Dr. Nancy Fishman, Executive Director of Silicon Valley Food Rescue, a Joint Venture initiative. “Their dedication to environmental protection and life quality improvement for all its residents paved the way for A La Carte, and original program that we hope will serve as a model of innovation with meaningful solutions to help our neighbors in need.”

A La Carte is a mobile food distribution platform that features a fleet of trucks to collect and immediately deliver surplus prepared food to underserved neighborhoods throughout the county. With the grant, A La Carte is expected to begin serving the County of Santa Clara later in 2018, and help close the gap on the 125 million meals still needed each year. Silicon Valley Food Rescue will work with local universities, leading Silicon Valley corporations and other early partners on a desperately needed endeavor that will break down distribution barriers and increase the nutrition levels for people living with food insecurity daily.