State grant allows San Diego to protect the environment and feed more people

Saving food, the planet, and people
Posted at 4:58 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-12 20:45:14-04

The City of San Diego was awarded a $3 million state grant that will help save food, save the planet, and save people.  The city will use a majority of the grant to convert its composting system at the Miramar Landfill into a closed system.  A news release from the city said that will reduce air emissions and continue to divert tons of food waste from the landfill.

The City of San Diego currently keeps more than 100,000 tons of food waste out of the landfill by composting or making sure it’s diverted to food rescue non-profits before it’s thrown away.

“It’s getting tossed because people don’t find the need for it or it’s got a slight cosmetic defect,” said Aviva Paley of Kitchens for Good, a food rescue that feeds hundreds of people a day by using food that could have been thrown away.

“You can still make really good food with stuff that you just have to clean it up a little bit,” said Kitchens for Good Chef Trainer Theron Fisher.

“It is so heartbreaking to see how much food goes to waste in this country,” said Paley.

A portion of the state grant will allow Kitchens for Good to expand its operation.  It fed 35,000 people in 2016.  It would like to feed more than 50,000 by 2018.

It would keep more food out of the landfill and feed more people who need meals.  Paley said one in six San Diegans go hungry every day.

Another benefit for the Kitchens for Good program:  The cooks who prepare the meals are going through a 12-week training program to prepare them for culinary careers.  Paley said most of the participants have overcome obstacles from crime and drugs to mental disabilities.  The program opens them to a career they could otherwise never reach.