California Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) Preparation and City of LA Organics Ordinances

To address food insecurity and food waste in California, California Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) was established to ensure surplus edible food is donated to the City of Los Angeles’ Food Rescue Organizations (FROs) and Food Recovery Services (FRSs) in order to build our food rescue capacity and help the most underserved populations while eliminating organic waste in landfills.

The City of Los Angeles’ Organics Ordinance No. 187711 was implemented on January 18, 2023 in accordance with the State legislation and addresses the City's ability to inspect edible food generators for compliance and provide enforcement.

According to the National Research Defense Council (NRDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wasted food causes 58 percent of methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills. California throws away more than 6 million tons of food waste every year*.
  • In 2016, California SB 1383 was passed, a short-lived climate pollutants reduction act that diverts organic waste from landfills to prevent climate emissions, conserve our land, and maximize resources.
  • SB 1383 came into effect on January 1, 2022 for organic waste and methane emission reduction.
  • SB 1383 establishes statewide targets for the reduction of 75 percent of organic waste sent to landfills by 2030.
  • SB 1383 recovers at least 20 percent of the surplus edible food for human consumption by 2025. This is a statewide goal.
SB 1383 aims to connect surplus edible food produced by certain food businesses and donate that food to nonprofits who provide for those facing food insecurity.

SB 1383 Tier 1 Tier 2 v2SB 1383 defines these businesses as “Tier 1” or “Tier 2” edible food generators (EFGs) to recover edible food. Please see the graphic on the left for a description of the types of businesses that fall under the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories and when they are required to start recovering edible food and maintain records of their donations.

To ensure that the maximum amount of edible food is recovered, the regulations require that mandated food donors establish contracts or written agreements with food recovery organizations (FROs) and services.

Beginning January 1, 2024, the City will ensure that all EFGs have partnerships with FROs/FRSs and are donating the maximum amount of edible food through site visit inspections.
Make sure you are prepared and start forming partnerships with FROs/FRSs. Learn more on how you can develop partnerships.


When donating food, California has set in place several protections for businesses to ensure full recovery of edible food. Outlined in the California Food Retail Code and CA AB 1219, businesses are protected from criminal and civil liability when donating to a hunger relief organization. Therefore, businesses donating in good faith do not need to worry in regards to their liability of food donations.

In addition, donors are protected on the Federal Level as well. Originally passed in 1996, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act works on a federal level to limit liability for food donors giving to nonprofit organizations. New amendments were passed on January 5, 2023, also grant liability protections to “qualified direct donors” who donate directly to needy individuals at zero cost. Qualified direct donors include: retail grocers, wholesalers, restaurants, caters, and more.


Additionally, EFGs who donate surplus edible food may be eligible to receive tax benefits from their donations. For clarification, read this guide developed by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and consult with your tax professional to claim full benefits.

ReFed Calculator Tax Incentives - The U.S. federal government recognizes the importance of food donation and provides tax incentives to businesses that donate food. ReFed has developed a guide to determine how much your business may be eligible for.


Consumers can also play their part in preventing food waste! With residents accounting for over 4 million tons of food waste each year**, preventing food waste in your own kitchen is a key way to take climate action in your home. Learn more about how you can prevent food waste.

*Source: EPA, 2023 **Source: ReFED Insights Engine