News Release - City of Los Angeles Announces Winners of Food Waste Grant Challenge

Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge Application

City of Los Angeles Announces Winners of Food Waste Grant Challenge

The City’s first-ever Food Waste Grant Challenge is part the City's ongoing efforts to divert waste from landfills

Los Angeles, CA (February 21, 2018) – The City of Los Angeles announced the winners of the City’s first-ever food waste grant challenge competition. 

Project categories included food waste prevention, food donation, upcycled use (including animal feed or fuel) and composting. The total grant pool reached approximately $100,000 and includes both administrative, and project grants. Ten projects located throughout the City were selected.

"We are proud to recognize the winners of our first food waste grant challenge,” Board of Public Works Vice President Heather Marie Repenning stated, “Ending food waste is a critical component in eliminating our dependence on landfills, and these organizations stepped up to the plate when we challenged them to bring us innovative projects to address the problem.”

Administrative grant winners included LA Compost, LA Food Policy Council and California Bioproducts Innovation Center. Project grants were awarded to seven organizations throughout Los Angeles to move forward with food waste reduction projects:

  • Netiya in West Los Angeles provides food donation, food waste diversion, and composting education at congregations across all faiths have been key components of Netiya’s efforts for the past six years. Netiya’s project will educate and mobilize the student population at deToledo High School to institute a comprehensive program that incorporates food waste recovery and composting for an on-site food garden.
  • Proyecto Jardín, Los Angeles (PJLA), has 17 years of experience facilitating the development of a vibrant intergenerational community of learners on a ⅓ acre urban farm in Boyle Heights. PJLA’s project will offer its signature 8-week course, Make Compost, Not War, as a compost academy to an intergenerational cohort of 30 Eastside Los Angeles residents.
  • Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s Sustainable Little Tokyo (SLT), is a community-driven initiative working to ensure a healthy, equitable, and culturally rich Little Tokyo for generations to come. The Sustainable Little Tokyo’s Bokashi Compost Project will educate Little Tokyo residents and food businesses about food waste and its impacts; demonstrate Bokashi and organic waste composting to reduce food waste; and host community gatherings at composting sites to share skills, challenges, progress updates, and compost uses.
  • Garden School Foundation has over 10 years of experience working with LAUSD schools in food deserts to provide daily garden-based instruction to low-income students through its Seed to Table (S2T) curriculum of 120 standards-based lessons including cooking and nutrition. S2T is currently the only garden-based curriculum integrated into the District Instructional Master Plan. Garden School Foundation’s project involves designing and implementing a month-long Cafeteria to Compost Challenge for students, teachers, faculty, parents and community stakeholders of 24th Street Elementary.
  • Environmental Charter Middle School’s (ECMS) mission is to create and deliver vibrant, innovative, interdisciplinary learning opportunities using the environment to engage students and connect them to the wider world. Because ECMS currently does not have a compost site, the project will create a large area on campus for the cultivation of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and native plants. ECMS will close the food waste loop through infrastructure improvements, curriculum support, and student-led community education.
  • LA Conservation Corps, an environmentally focused workforce development agency, will work with LA Community Garden Council and LA Compost to build composting hubs at ten community garden sites. The composting hubs will serve community gardeners and will be open to local residents and business owners during specified hours each week as a collection site for kitchen scraps.
  • LA Community Garden Council strengthens communities by building and supporting community gardens where local residents can grow their own healthy food in their community. New composting hubs will serve as educational centers, with clear signage and workshops, to encourage community members to avoid food waste, to compost their garden and kitchen scraps, to use the compost to nourish their plants, and to grow their own food. Their program will impact 1,400 people, and they expect to see food savings of approximately 2,000 pounds per month at each composting hub, for a total of 40,000 pounds during the 60-day challenge period.

Announced in October 2017 at “Food Day LA,” the food waste grant challenge is part the City's ongoing efforts to divert waste from landfills and reach a zero waste goal of 90% by 2025.


About L.A. City Department of Public Works
The Department of Public Works is comprised of five bureaus: Contract Administration, Engineering, Sanitation, Street Lighting, and Street Services, as well as the Offices of the Board, including the Offices of Community Beautification, Filming and Petroleum Administration.  More than 5,500 employees are responsible for design, construction, renovation and operation of public projects ranging from bridges to wastewater treatment plants and libraries; curbside collection and graffiti removal; and maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, streetlights and street trees.

The Department is governed by the Board of Public Works (BPW), a five-member full-time executive team that is committed to delivering projects and programs that enhance quality of life, economic growth, public health and the environment to all Angelenos.

For more information, please visit