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    Value-Added Processing

    Diversion Potential:
    102K Tons

    Economic Value Per Ton:

    GHGs Reduced:
    299K Tons

    Meals Recovered:
    171M Meals


    Building processing infrastructure equipment and facilities to freeze or convert donated or excess food into products such as soups, sauces, and jams


    • Processing requires capital-intensive commercial kitchens and other infrastructure.
    • During prime harvesting season, existing infrastructure capacity is often not available, requiring new infrastructure to be built or identified in the community.

    Stakeholder Actions

    • Nonprofits and social entrepreneurs can work with farmers and manufacturers in food-producing regions to find excess processing capacity to handle crop surpluses during prime harvesting months, and collaborate with businesses to process donated food.
    • Foundations and impact investors can provide low-cost capital for investment in additional processing line capacity.
    • The USDA could expand its grant and loan programs to help farmers and entrepreneurs invest in their own processing capabilities.

    Examples & Resources

    • The Alameda Kitchen, utilizing an available kitchen at the Alameda Point Collaborative, transforms fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted into affordable food products and meals for low-income populations.

    • While the Roadmap focused on more mature nonprofit efforts to preserve the lifespan of donated food through processing, several social enterprises have emerged recently to sell value-added product from food waste at a profit. These include Barnana (snack bites from bananas rejected for export/import), Misfit Juicery (a juice company repurposing wasted food), and MM Local Foods (which buys seconds from farmers and makes value-added products to sell).

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    Donation Matching Software

    Using technology platforms to connect individual food donors with recipient organizations to reach smaller-scale food donations

    $2879 /ton
    in financial benefit

    150 K tons/yr
    in diversion potential

    250 M meals/yr
    meals recovered

    555 K tons/yr
    in GHG reduction

    72 B gal/yr
    in water conservation

    jobs created

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    Donation Storage & Handling

    Expanding temperature-controlled food distribution infrastructure (e.g. refrigeration, warehouses) and labor availability to handle (e.g. process, package) additional food donation volume

    $2366 /ton
    in financial benefit

    103 K tons/yr
    in diversion potential

    172 M meals/yr
    meals recovered

    381 K tons/yr
    in GHG reduction

    50 B gal/yr
    in water conservation

    jobs created

    Learn How >
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