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#FREETHEFOOD

IMPACT GUIDE
ABOUT #FREETHEFOOD FOOD WASTE CHALLENGE:

The City of Los Angeles’ first ever #FreeTheFood Food Waste Grant
Challenge is made up of 10 projects working to “free the food”
from our landfills. Through waste prevention, food donation, and
composting, the three administrative grantees and seven community-
based pilot programs helped demonstrate what we can accomplish
when we reimagine otherwise “wasted” food as a resource.

#FreetheFood grantees with Board of Public Works Vice President Heather Reppening

ESTIMATED COLLECTIVE IMPACT

1854 11k+ 5.1
people engaged pounds of food tons of
across Los Angeles scraps diverted greenhouse
in food waste pre- from the landfill gas emissions
vention and com- (CO2 saved)
posting prevented

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:

ADMINISTRATIVE GRANTEES
LA COMPOST.............................................................4
LA FOOD POLICY COUNCIL........................................5
CALIFORNIA BIOPRODUCTS INNOVATION CENTER..6
PROJECT GRANTEES
NETIYA.......................................................................8
PROYECTO JARDÍN....................................................9
SUSTAINABLE LITTLE TOKYO (SLT).........................10
GARDEN SCHOOL FOUNDATION (GSF).....................11
ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER MIDDLE SCHOOL-
GARDENA (ECMS-GARDENA)...................................12
LA CONSERVATION CORPS (LACC)..........................13
LA COMMUNITY GARDEN COUNCIL (LACGC)...........13

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ADMINISTRATIVE GRANTEES
LA COMPOST
LA Compost’s mission is to reconnect the people of Los Angeles to the soil, and
each other. LA Compost has spent the last five years building and facilitating
composting hubs throughout Los Angeles County. Its decentralized system
works with regional managers and partnering organizations in a symbiotic
relationship while empowering and providing resources for individuals to form
a community and maintain the work. LA Compost has firsthand knowledge of
the demand for local compost drop-off sites as well as the LA community’s
desire to participate in and engage with composting programs. LA Compost
aims to keep the transport of organics local and has established best practices
for the physical construction, maintenance, public education, and necessary
support for Los Angeles’ growing composting infrastructure. Learn more at:
www.lacompost.org.

IMPACT
LA Compost provided technical assistance to all of the project grantees
on how to build and manage compost hubs. LA Compost trained eight
LA Conservation Corp (LACC) members on how to build a 3-bin compost
system, and worked closely with LACC, LA Community Garden Council
and other partners to build 10 compost hubs and provide composting
education workshops throughout Los Angeles.

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LA FOOD POLICY COUNCIL
The Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC) works to ensure food
is healthy, affordable, fair, and sustainable for all. LAFPC believes that all
communities deserve access to good food, grown in a way that respects
people and the planet. The organization envisions a local food system free
from hunger and rooted in social equity and access, support for farmers
and food workers, and environmental stewardship. LAFPC’s approach is
to forge necessary collaboration from farm to fork, and across government,
business, and community, to create a world where there is Good Food for
All. Learn more at: www.goodfoodla.org.

IMPACT
LAFPC provided technical assistance, stakeholder outreach and
strategy development. They supported project grantees on outreach
and promoted each project weekly across their digital platforms
including their newsletter and social media (i.e.: Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram) to thousands of Angelenos as part of a #FreetheFoodFriday
campaign. In addition, LAFPC developed engaging shareable
graphics to spread awarness on the issue of food waste and increase
the visibility of the challenge as an effective model for change. LAFPC
also connected project grantees to relevant partners and resources
within the LAFPC Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Working Group
and broader LAFPC Network. Over the course of the campaign,
LAFPC content alone reached over 53,000 views.

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CALIFORNIA BIOPRODUCTS INNOVATION CENTER
California Bioproducts Innovation Center (CBIC), a program of BioEnergy
Works, supports the scientific, technical and commercial development of the
integrated biomaterial, bioenergy and water economies. CBIC provides an
objective science and economic-based platform for the development of a
new industry, engaged in the upcycling of biomass product and byproduct
resource streams, promulgating new enterprise and industry models that are
sustainably integrated into the biospheres systems by design. Learn more at:
www.bioproducts.center.

IMPACT
CBIC leveraged its technical knowledge and experience to aid project
grantees in the calculation of theoretical project yield, continuous
process optimization and troubleshooting, determination of scalability,
and quantitative verification of project outcomes. CBIC calculations
measured the cumulative impact of the #FreetheFood Challenge.
These metrics amounted to nearly 11,000 lbs of food scraps diverted
from the landfill, over 1,600 community members engaged, and more
than 400,00 square feet of garden space in cultivation and ready to
receive the composted food scraps.

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PROJECT GRANTEES

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NETIYA
Netiya is a food and faith organization
that connects congregational resources
with the food justice movement. They
believe that underused land is a wasted
community resource and helped install 33
food gardens on faith-based institutional
property in Los Angeles. Combined, these
institutions have converted over 14 acres of
underused land into fruit-bearing orchards
and vegetable gardens.

FOOD WASTE INTENSIVE
Netiya immersed elementary and middle school students at Lainer School
in an experiential eight-week program that teaches community leadership,
institutional food waste prevention, and earth-based wisdom through the
framework of urban farming. Students learned about the values of regenerative
stewardship and food sovereignty in an urban setting. Working within the
context of environmentalism and food justice, students learned how to work
with school leadership to tackle food waste proactively. Students completed
the program by carrying out an institutional food waste audit under Netiya’s
guidance, implementing a composting system in the school garden to continue
to process food waste from school lunches, and hosting a Zero Waste Event to
share their findings and accomplishments with school community. During the
course of the program, Netiya also assisted school leadership in implementing
a recycling program.

IMPACT: 240
pounds of food scraps

80
diverted from the landfill
*projected

students, parents,
volunteers, and
school faculty
engaged in food
0.1
waste prevention
tons of greenhouse
and compost gas emissions (CO2
education saved) prevented
*projected 8
PROYECTO JARDÍN
Proyecto Jardín (PJ) is a community-
led movement for food sovereignty
that promotes regenerative urban
agriculture and an equitable regional
food system rooted in ancestral
foodways & farming practices. Their
programming focuses on activating
the regenerative power of mother earth
to heal broken hearts, restore city
soils, and feed mind, body and spirit
through meaningful education, soulful
work, and radical hope. Learn more at:
www.proyectojardin.org.

THE COMPOST ACADEMY,
DO THE ROT THING
Proyecto Jardín found a permanent home at Edendale Grove garden in Echo
Park. At Edendale Grove, PJ taught it’s signature eight week course, The
Compost Academy, Do the Rot Thing. Proyecto Jardín’s Spring 2018 cohort
of 20+ Angelenos met weekly on Saturdays to put head, heart, and hands to
work around the compost pile. PJ also connected with 15 local eateries, chefs
and small catering companies, initiating
conversations to form a consortium of
local businesses who will compost their
food waste at one of PJ’s Compost Hubs
in Echo Park.Through #FreetheFood,
Proyecto Jardín built, and will continue
to build, community capacity to compost
with courage, confidence, and conviction
across Los Angeles.

IMPACT: 367
participants
3662 1.6
pounds of food tons of green-
engaged through scraps diverted house gas
educational from the landfill emissions (CO2
compost saved)
workshops prevented
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SUSTAINABLE LITTLE TOKYO (SLT)
Sustainable Little Tokyo (SLT) is a community-
driven initiative, led by the Little Tokyo Community
Council (LTCC), Little Tokyo Service Center
(LTSC), and Japanese American Cultural and
Community Center (JACCC), working to ensure a
healthy, equitable, and culturally rich Little Tokyo
for generations to come. For the past three years,
SLT has recovered and redistributed over 5,500
pounds of food from local Buddhist Temple Obon
Festivals. Zenshuji’s two community kitchens have
maintained a compost pile and organic garden for
over 17 years and recently added Bokashi to the
composting cycle. Bokashi is a process that uses
inoculated bran to quickly and safely compost
plant, meat, and dairy waste. Learn more at:
www.sustainablelittletokyo.org.

BOKASHI COMPOST PROJECT
The SLT Bokashi Compost Project was threefold: (1) it educated Little
Tokyo residents and food businesses about food waste and its impacts; (2)
demonstrated Bokashi and organic waste composting to reduce food waste;
and (3) hosted five separate community gatherings at composting sites to
share skills, challenges, progress updates, and compost uses. SLT diverted
two times more food scraps than
anticipated at the following locations
in Little Tokyo: Nishi Center,
Zenshuji Soto Mission, Casa Heiwa,
JACCC and Teramachi Homes.
Join their bimonthly Bokashi Club
and help make bokashi composting
accessible and affordable for the
community! More info and dates at
sustainablelittletokyo.org/food.

IMPACT: 316
community
1251 0.6
pounds of food tons of green-
members and scraps diverted house gas
Little Tokyo from the landfill emissions (CO2
residents saved)
engaged at Bokashi
prevented
workshops 10
GARDEN SCHOOL FOUNDATION (GSF)
The GSF 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. This curriculum consists of 120
standards-based lessons including cooking and nutrition. S2T is currently the
only garden-based curriculum integrated into the District Instructional Master
Plan. Learn more at: www.gardenschoolfoundation.org.

CAFETERIA TO COMPOST CHALLENGE
The GSF’s project involved designing and implementing a month-long Cafeteria
to Compost Challenge for students, teachers, faculty, parents and community
stakeholders of 24th Street Elementary. Students learned to identify which
foods are compostable, learned new behaviors to integrate composting as a
habit, and developed an understanding of food waste, all while tracking and
measuring food waste reduction.

IMPACT: 746 3418 1.5
students and pounds of food tons of green-
faculty engaged scraps diverted house gas
in food waste from the landfill emissions (CO2
prevention
saved)
education and
11 prevented
compost education
ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER MIDDLE SCHOOL-
GARDENA (ECMS-GARDENA)
ECMS’ mission is to create and deliver vibrant, innovative, and interdisciplinary
learning opportunities using the environment to engage students and connect
them to the wider world. Through its Green Ambassadors Program, students
explore environmental sustainability and identify and share solutions with their
community on water conservation, waste reduction, environmental justice,
and policy. Learn more at: www.ecsonline.org.

GREEN AMBASSADORS PROGRAM
ECMS-Gardena closed the food waste loop through infrastructure
improvements, curriculum support, and student-led community education.
The Bay Foundation supported the students of ECMS-Gardena to install a
large 3-bin composter. At the same time, each classroom, the staff lounge
and the after-school program areas were outfitted with compost collection
bins. Students served as peer mentors to facilitate proper waste sorting
through the “trash bouncer” program. The project also created a large area
on campus for the cultivation of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and native plants.

IMPACT: 240 200 .09
students and pounds of food tons of green-
faculty engaged scraps diverted house gas
in food waste from the landfill emissions (CO2
prevention
saved)
education
prevented
and compost
education 12
LA CONSERVATION CORPS (LACC)
LACC is an environmentally focused workforce development agency. It provides
supportive services and transition assistance to Corpsmembers, low-income
at-risk youth who are out of work and/or school. LA Conservation Corps
provides job training and paid work experience to nearly 500 young adults
(ages 18 to 25) each year. Work projects include building parks and community
gardens, planting trees, recycling consumer waste, removing graffiti, restoring
forest trails, installing solar panels, and improving energy efficiency and water
conservation. Learn more at: www.lacorps.org.

LA COMMUNITY GARDEN COUNCIL (LACGC)
The LACGC strengthens communities by building and supporting community
gardens where local residents can grow their own healthy food in their
community. LACGC currently partners with 42 community gardens across Los
Angeles County. Learn more at: www.lagardencouncil.org

JOINT PROJECT: 10 NEW COMPOST HUBS IN LOS ANGELES
The LACC, LACGC, and LA Compost worked together to build composting
hubs at ten community garden sites. The composting hubs will serve the
community gardeners as well as be open to local residents and business
owners for a couple of hours each week for them to bring kitchen scraps. The
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.

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THE 10 NEW COMPOST HUBS
Council District 1
• Milagro Allegro Community Garden, 115 S. Ave 56, Los Angeles, CA
90042
• Solano Canyon Community Garden, 545 Solano Avenue, Los Angeles,
CA 90012
Public Drop Off: Wednesday from 6-8pm and Saturday from 10am-1pm.
Council District 7
• Howard Finn Community Garden, 7747 Foothill Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
91042
Council District 9
• Vermont Square Community Garden, 4712 S. Vermont Avenue, Los
Angeles, CA 90037
Council District 10
• Seeds of Carver Community Garden, 2319 2nd Ave, Los Angeles, CA
90018
• Mariposa-Nabi Community Garden, 961 S. Mariposa Avenue, Los
Angeles, CA 90006
Council District 13
• Glassell Park Community Garden, 3304 Drew Street, Los Angeles, CA
90065
• Jardin del Rio Community Garden, 2363 N. Riverdale Avenue, Los
Angeles, CA 90031
Council District 14
• El Sereno Community Garden, 5466 Huntington Drive, Los Angeles, CA
90032
• Spring Street Community Garden, 220 South Spring Street, Los Angeles,
CA 90012

IMPACT: 8 1.1
Conservation tons of green-
Corp youth house gas

97 trained on
compost bin build
emissions (CO2

2.5k
saved)
attendees prevented
engaged
at compost pounds of food
workshops at scraps diverted
LACGC gardens from the landfill
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compiled by Iesha Siler
designed by Camille de la Vega
with support from LA Sanitation