Food Recovery

Castro Valley Sanitary District promotes the 4Rs in everything we do. Although the last two Rs, Recycle and Rot (or compost/organics), are beneficial, the first two Rs, Reduce and Reuse are very important. While it is best to reduce the food you make or buy (source reduction or food waste prevention), there will inevitably be some surplus or “wasted” food for businesses, schools, institutions, and residents. What should you do with your surplus food? It depends on how much you have, but in general, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that feeding people first with surplus food is best for the environment. The EPA has developed a Food Recovery Hierarchy (shown below) that shows how surplus, but safe and edible, food should be dealt with.

Why a Food Recovery Hierarchy?
The environmental and social impacts of food and food waste are significant. Growing and producing our food requires vast amounts of resources such as water, energy, and fuel for transportation. Efficient use of these resources reduces waste at its source.
If we have leftover food that is still good, we should feed hungry people. We waste approximately 40% of all of our food while 90% of what’s good and unwanted gets thrown away in the garbage or compost.* In addition to environmental impacts, wasting food is bad for our community because we still have 50 million food-insecure people in the United States.* 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 3 children are food-insecure in Alameda County, which means they face the threat of hunger on an ongoing basis.**
*Dana Gunders-Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of its Food From Farm to Fork to Landfill.
**Alameda County Community Food Bank 2013 Annual Report

EPA Food Recovery Challenge
Did you know that there is even an EPA food recovery challenge for organizations and businesses? For more, please visit:

Local Options to Save Food and Donate it to Those in Need:
What are your options for saving food in Castro Valley and finding people in need that want it? Depending on the quantity, even your fruit trees and small gardens may provide enough for a food bank or pantry to use. Please help the environment and the community and visit the resources below to save your food for someone else in need. The list below includes resources outside of CVSan territory that are nearby and very helpful.

Adult Day Services Network of Alameda County - food bank and meal delivery service.
510 17th Street #200, Oakland (510) 577-1800

Alameda County Community Food Bank– large food bank for all of Alameda County.
7900 Edgewater Drive, Oakland (510) 635-3663, extension 358

All Saints Episcopal Church Neighborhood Center - food pantry.
911 Dowling Boulevard, San Leandro (510) 569-7020

Ample Harvest a website that empowers you to donate your excess produce to interested local food banks and pantries (over 6,900 are listed nationally).

Bethel Community Presbyterian Food Pantry- food pantry.
14235 Bancroft Avenue, San Leandro (510) 357-4130

California Association of Food Banks- food bank association for all of California.
1624 Franklin Street #722, Oakland (510) 272-4435

Children’s Emergency Food Bank at John Knox Presbyterian Church – food bank.
7421 Amarillo Road, Dublin (925) 828-5363

Children’s Food Basket - food bank.
4000 Redwood Road, Oakland (510) 534-6362

Choice Food Services - food bank.
21337 Cabot Boulevard, Hayward (510) 887-0335

Davis Street Family Resource Center - food pantry and resource center.
3081 Teagarden Street, San Leandro (510) 347-4620, extension 158

FallingFruit.Org a website that lets you post your unwanted tree fruit for others to come harvest. The map is an open source to allow for easy editing and shows fruit tree options all around the world (over 600,000 locations, including over 100,000 in California alone).

Faith Lutheran Food Pantry
20080 Redwood Road, Castro Valley (510) 582-0818

Hayward Church of the Nazarene - food pantry.
26221 Gading Road, Hayward (510) 732-0777

Hope for the Heart - food bank.
22035 Meekland Avenue, Hayward (510) 581-4673

La Familia Counseling Service -
food pantry and resource center.
680 W Tennyson Road, Wing B, Hayward (510) 782-2947

New Life Christian Church - food pantry.
20394 San Miguel Avenue, Castro Valley (510) 889-1304

San Lorenzo Family Help Center - food pantry and resource center.
100 Hacienda Avenue, San Lorenzo (510) 278-2085

Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda Countylarge free dining room and food bank for all of Alameda County.
675 23rd Street, Oakland (510) 451-7676

South Hayward Parish- food pantry.
27287 Patrick Avenue, Hayward (510) 785-3663

St. Vincent de Paul Society at All Saints Church- food pantry.
22824 Second Street, Hayward (510) 581-2570