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Campus to Tackle Food Waste with CalRecycle Grant

February 27, 2018

UC Merced is one of the first recipients of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant.

As part of the state’s comprehensive strategy, CalRecycle awarded $9.4 million to 31 projects throughout California.

The Bobcat Eats Food Waste and Prevention Program, a joint partnership between UC Merced and the Merced County Food Bank, will develop a mobile food-waste-prevention and storage-distribution center that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by diverting food waste from the landfill. The grant is $100,000 for three years.

“UC Merced is leveraging existing partnerships to develop an innovative program to help achieve its commitment to produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2020,” Sustainability senior analyst Breeana Sylvas said. “The program will prioritize addressing historical inequities through food accessibility and access.”

CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.

“Bolstering California’s food-recovery infrastructure will help feed communities in need, create new jobs and result in significant greenhouse gas reductions,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “Our hope is that these programs will inspire similar efforts throughout California.”

To be eligible for funding, projects must be based in California; result in permanent, annual and measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and increase the quantity of California-generated food materials prevented, reduced or rescued from disposal.