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Focus on Food Justice - FoodCycle LA


FoodCycle LA is a non-profit, community-powered organization that has been working for the past 15 years to help solve the issue of food insecurity in Los Angeles, where 2 million people are food insecure. They focus on recovering food that would otherwise be discarded from grocery stores, restaurants, offices, and farmers markets and delivering that food to organizations that work to feed the hungry. FoodCycle LA’s motto is “feed people, not landfills.”

A staggering statistic on FoodCycle LA’s website is “if food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of impact on global warming.” An astounding 40% of food produced in the US is thrown away which equates to one pound of food per person per day. The excess and inequality of access in our current food system leads to several leading issues that FoodCycle works to address: 

  • the disproportionate number of people - almost 50 million people in the US- who are termed “food insecure”, particularly the young and elderly in the population 
  • the misuse of resources: 25% of our fresh water used to produce our food goes to waste, along with 30 million acres of farmland, fertilizer, and many other resources that could be put to better use
  • excess food dumped into our landfills produce methane gas and CO2 which contributes to climate change

FoodCycle LA rescues the equivalent of 25,000 meals on a weekly basis, over 200,000 pounds per month. Through their Food Recovery Program, the organization works with donors throughout LA to bring surplus food to 70 different organizations. The recovery team delivers door to door to those with physical limitations who are not able to get the food themselves. FoodCycle LA's website,, features online sources such as Food Oasis Map and LA Community Fridges that help Los Angelenos easily locate free food in their area. They work with Chow Match to get excess food from donors picked up at no cost to the businesses and partners with Winnow to collect surplus food from commercial kitchens.   

Check out FoodCycle LA or sign up to be a volunteer via their website or connect through their Instagram @foodcycle_la!

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