Questions about the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program grant application are accepted in writing only, no later than November 6, 2020. Similar or related questions may be grouped together or reworded for clarity and responded to as one question.

All questions and answers will be posted during the application period and are subject to updates. It is the applicant's responsibility to check this website for the latest information regarding this grant cycle.

General

  1. What is the definition of food waste prevention projects under this grant program? 
    Food waste prevention projects are defined as projects that prevent food waste from being generated and becoming waste that is normally destined for landfills. Please see page 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information and examples.

  2. What is the definition of food rescue projects under this grant program?
    Food rescue projects are defined as projects that result in food that would otherwise be destined for landfills, being rescued and distributed to help feed people. Any food waste residuals from the food rescue project must be composted or sent to a digester within the project service area, if available. Please see page 7 and 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information. 

  3. How long is the grant period for FW4 Fiscal Year 2019–20?
    The Grant Term begins on the date of the Notice to Proceed email, which is sent after the grant is awarded and the grant agreement is fully executed. The Grant Term ends on April 3, 2023. Please refer to Grant Term section on page 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  4. If grants are tentatively awarded in March 2021, is our program expected to start at that time?
    The Grant Term does not begin on the date of award. The grant term begins on the date of the Notice to Proceed email. The expectation from CalRecycle is that awarded grantees may begin implementing their project only after they have received their Notice to Proceed email.

    Note: Program costs may not be incurred prior to receiving the Notice to Proceed email. Any program costs incurred prior to the date of the Notice to Proceed email will not be reimbursed by CalRecycle. Please refer to page 6 of the Procedures and Requirements.

  5. Are grantees subject to an annual state audit? If so, will co-applicants be subject to an annual state audit, or just the lead applicant?
    The State of California has the right to review the project documents and conduct audits during project implementation and three years after the final payment or end date. Records and supporting documentation pertaining to the performance of the grant must be kept for a minimum of three (3) years after the final payment date or Grant Term end date, whichever is later. The participants listed in the application are subject to the same requirements. Please see the Audit Considerations section on page 15 of the Procedures and Requirements.

  6. What is the process for requesting copies of successful applications for previous grant program years?
    To review grant applications from previous cycles, a Public Information Request must be made. If approved, the requested material will either be emailed or posted on a designated CalRecycle webpage for public information. To request previously submitted grant applications please visit our California Public Records Act Requests web page.

  7. What does “destined for landfills” mean, as stated in the definitions of food waste prevention and rescue? 
  8. Food destined for landfills means food that would otherwise be sent to a California landfill if it were not for food rescue or food waste prevention interventions. Examples of food that is not destined for landfills could include, but is not limited to: food that is sent to a composting or anaerobic digestion facility; food that is sent to an animal feeding operation; unpicked produce on farms, where the food would be allowed to naturally decompose; food from other food rescue organizations, where the food would otherwise be distributed to a different food rescue organization. 

  9. What is an upcycled product, and are projects that use upcycled products eligible to apply for this grant?
  10. Upcycled products are not eligible under this grant. Upcycled products are food products that use upcycled ingredients that otherwise would not go to human consumption to make a new food product for commodity purposes.  However, food recovery kitchens and nonprofit food recovery organizations that repurpose recovered food to feed people in need are eligible.      

  11. Do you require a minimum level of current food rescue activity, within the state, to apply? If so, what minimum activities would you consider viable?
  12. All food rescue activities must occur in California. Food rescue activities occurring outside the state are not eligible. Although there is no minimum requirement for  current activity or diversion to apply, applicants must demonstrate through quantitative data and supporting documentation how their projected diversion is measured. Applicants must also provide a defensible explanation describing how they plan to achieve their projected diversion during the Grant Term.  In addition, all diversion claimed in the application must be achieved during the grant term.  Please note that this is competitive grant program, and we recommend reviewing the scoring criteria as described in the Application Guidelines and Instructions

  13. Do you require technical understanding of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction methods and algorithms to be shared publicly during the granting review process or post-award?
  14. Applicants are required to calculate a project’s GHG emissions reductions using the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Program Calculator Tool (Benefits Calculator Tool) posted on California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) CCI Quantification, Benefits, and Reporting Materials webpage to support their response.  Formulas calculating the emissions reductions are included in the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Program Calculator Tool.

    Upon request, the entire contents of the submitted application are subject to public records requests. This may include contact information, project summary, uploaded documents, and scoring information. Public records may be requested from CalRecycle through the CalRecycle’s California Public Records Act Requests web page . Please refer to page 10, Public Records Requests of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information.

  15. What size is considered a “residential” fridge or freezer?
  16. The term “residential refrigerator” or “residential freezer” are broad terms to describe refrigeration equipment that is typically purchased for use in households rather than in commercial settings or facilities. Since residential refrigeration is typically intended for households, the cubic footage of residential refrigeration equipment is usually much smaller than commercial refrigeration. Although residential refrigerators and residential freezers typically are purchased for in-home use, this equipment can also be purchased to help facilitate food recovery activities.

  17. Does any increase in pounds of food rescued have to be over the currently rescued amount, or just over last grant period’s goals?
  18. Applicants will need to explain how the proposed project will result in new diversion of food waste from California landfills, either through food waste prevention and/or food rescue activities above their baseline diversion, if applicable. Applicants should clearly explain how their 2019 baseline was measured, and if applicable, specify the length of time taken to measure their baseline. If the applicant does not have a food waste prevention baseline for 2019, applicants should provide information explaining why they do not have baseline data.

  19. Is this opportunity appropriate for an established program that is seeking funds for sustainability and not growth? The requirements for this opportunity seem to indicate that year over year growth must be demonstrated for a competitive application, and we would like clarification on this matter to decide if this is an appropriate opportunity for us to submit for.
  20. Funding for grant projects should result in new diversion of food waste from California landfills, either through food waste prevention and/or food rescue activities above current operations (baseline diversion). Applicants that cannot adequately demonstrate new diversion will not be competitive for this grant program. In addition, if it is determined that none of the diversion claimed by the applicant is new diversion from California landfills, the project will be ineligible for funding under this grant program.

  21. If we want to purchase a vehicle with grant funds, are there any requirements on fuel efficiency?
  22. While there is no specific fuel efficiency requirement placed on eligible vehicle requests under this grant, vehicle make, model, and efficiency are factored into the greenhouse gas calculator and used to determine the greenhouse gas offset the project will produce. Vehicle requests may be denied if they are deemed unnecessary or inconsistent with food rescue activities. Although not a requirement, CalRecycle recommends pursuing low emission vehicles when possible.

  23. Is there funding through CalRecycle or other sources that helps get a project developed so that it can be eligible for funding by the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue grant program?
  24. CalRecycle is not aware of any other grant funding for food waste prevention and rescue projects, however, CalRecycle does offer greenhouse gas (GHG) loans that can be utilized for food waste prevention and rescue projects as long as landfill diversion can be documented. For more information about the GHG loan program, please visit the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Loan Program webpage. Additionally, grant funding may be available with local governments and loans may be available with private businesses.

  25. Is DocuSign an acceptable certified digital signature program?
  26. Yes, DocuSign is an acceptable certified digital signature.

  27. Are there other approved ways of estimating food weight besides weighing on a scale?
  28. Weighing rescued food is the preferred method. However, if an applicant can explain how and why they need to use an alternative method that provides consistently accurate results, it could potentially be acceptable.

  29. I noticed that Personnel costs in the Budget Template document is being summed with Education and Outreach. Is this an error?
  30. Yes, that was an error and it has been corrected. The most updated version of the Budget Template document has been posted in GMS, under the Resources Tab, Cycle Application Documents, file name: FW4 Budget Revised 11_10_2020.xls.

  31. What percentage of the total commercial food waste from a business should we use as edible food? What percentage of total commercial food waste from the same business should we use as compostable food?
  32. This varies from site to site. It is the responsibility of the applicant to accurately determine the precise amount of food that will be prevented or rescued above a site’s baseline diversion. Food that would otherwise be composted is not eligible under this grant. Only food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills is eligible to be included in an applicant’s diversion projections.

  33. How should I decide whether an entity is a Formal Project Partner or a Third Party Transportation Service contractor?
  34. Formal Project Partners need to execute a participant grant agreement with CalRecycle upon award. Formal Project Partners are entities that will receive grant-funded equipment or Personnel salaries through the grant. Third Party Transportation Service contractors are businesses that provide a transport service and are paid by invoice (i.e. GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates, etc.).

  35. Would entities/agencies receiving equipment/vehicles be considered Formal Project Partners?
  36. Yes. In order for any entity, other than the Lead Applicant, to receive grant funds if awarded, they must be listed as a Formal Project Partner and have the required agreements submitted with the application. Formal Project Partners will need to execute a participant grant agreement with CalRecycle upon award.

  37. For past or current CalRecycle Food Waste Prevention and Rescue projects that qualified to reapply, can you clarify what “separate and distinct from your currently funded project” means? What guidelines can you provide for these grantees?
  38. Separate and distinct is used to show that the project will result in new diversion of food waste from California landfills either through food rescue or food waste prevention activities above their baseline diversion. Baseline equates to the diversion an applicant was achieving prior to the proposed grant project. If an applicant was a prior FW grantee, the diversion they achieved in the prior FW grant is considered baseline. Food recovered in the proposed grant project is only eligible if it is newly diverted from California landfills above and beyond baseline diversion.

  39. Question 6 in the Narrative Proposal reads, "describe how you will ensure that double counting of pounds rescued and/or prevented will not occur". How could there be double counting if the previous grant has ended when the next one begins? Is this referring to the brief period in which the grant cycles overlap?
  40. Double counting of pounds rescued can occur when an awarded grantee is working with another food rescue organization, and is not aware that the organization that they are working with is also a Food Waste Prevention and Rescue grantee. Question 6 was added to the Narrative Proposal specifically because we have seen instances of double counting when one grantee is receiving rescued food from another grantee and both are claiming the diversion. Only food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills can be included in an applicant’s diversion projections.

  41. About how long does it take to receive reimbursement after submission of invoice?
  42. CalRecycle will make payments to the grantee as promptly as fiscal procedures permit. The grantee can typically expect payment approximately 45 days from the date the Grant Manager approves a Grant Payment Request. No reimbursement is made prior to Grant Manager approval of the progress or final report. For more information, see Procedures and Requirements, page 12.

  43. Is the grant performance period different from the grant term? When will the grant term begin?
  44. Yes, the grant performance period is different from the grant term. The grant performance period begins on the day the Notice to Proceed email is issued and ends on February 28, 2023. Grantees may incur program or project costs after issuance of the Notice to Proceed through February 28, 2023. The Grant Term also begins on the day the Notice to Proceed email is issued; however, the grant term end date is April 3, 2023 to allow time to submit the final report. The Notice to Proceed is issued after grant awards are approved and all parties have signed the Grant Agreement.

Eligibility

  1. For K–12 school districts, can cafeterias be considered if preventing food waste or rescuing food for human consumption?
    Yes. K–12 public school districts are eligible to apply for a Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant if the proposed project prevents food waste from being created, or rescues food that otherwise would be landfilled. For additional information on eligible applicants, please refer to page 6 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions. For more information on eligible projects, please refer to the Eligible Projects/Products and Project Requirements sections on page 7 and 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  2. Can for-profit businesses apply for a Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant?
    Yes, for-profit businesses are eligible as long as the project is located in California and results in permanent, annual, and measurable reductions in GHG emissions through preventing food waste from being created, or rescuing food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills. For additional information, please refer to the Eligible Projects/Products and Project Requirements sections on page 7 and 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

    In addition, the business must also be qualified to do business in California and be in good standing with all applicable California state agencies, including, but not limited to, the Secretary of State and the Franchise Tax Board. For additional information, please refer to Eligible Applicants section on page 5 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  3. Are composting projects eligible for the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program?
    No. Composting projects are not eligible for the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program. Composting projects are eligible under CalRecycle’s Organics Grant Program.

  4. Are existing or past CalRecycle grantees eligible to apply for this new grant cycle?
    Current and past CalRecycle Food Waste Prevention and Rescue grantees have been notified of their eligibility to apply for this grant cycle based on the approved Applicant Eligibility Criteria for Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant, Fiscal Year 2019–20. Current and past CalRecycle Food Waste Prevention and Rescue grantees should contact their Grant Manager if they have questions as to their eligibility for the FW4 Fiscal Year 201920.

  5. Are companies based outside of California or the United State eligible to apply for this grant?
    Yes, businesses based outside of California or the United States are eligible to apply if they meet the following requirements:

    1. The business is qualified to do business in California, and the business is in good standing with all applicable California state agencies, including but not limited to, the Secretary of State and the Franchise Tax Board. Any and all subsidiaries, divisions, or affiliated businesses are considered part of the primary business entity for the purpose of applying for and receiving a grant award. For more information on eligible entities, see page 5 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.
    2. The grant project is located in California and results in permanent, annual, and measurable reductions in GHG emissions through preventing food waste from being created, or rescuing food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills. For additional information, please refer to the Eligible Projects/Products and Project Requirements sections on page 7 and 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

    Please note the Grants Management System does not allow for non-California counties/jurisdictions to be selected. If the organization’s headquarters is located out of California you must select the county/jurisdiction in which the local California office is located. Please see the Application Instructions section on page 12 in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  6. What does it mean that applicants must be registered and in good standing with the CA Department of Justice?
    Nonprofit organizations must be registered with the federal government under 501(c)3, (c)4, (c)6 or (c)10 of the Internal Revenue Code, and must be registered in the State of California with the Department of Justice. Good standing refers to whether a charitable organization or fundraiser has complied with the Attorney General’s registration and reporting requirements.

  7. Are food waste processing technologies (including using insect larvae or digesters), to improve the efficiency of composting or breaking down food waste eligible for this grant?
    No. Projects that process, treat, or recycle food waste are not eligible under this grant. Please refer to page 7, Eligible Projects/Products section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information.

  8. Will a project qualify for the grant if new food waste pounds can be projected and rescued if those businesses are currently composting (or food is sent to Anaerobic Digestion) as required by Assembly Bill 1826? Can we divert edible food from compost and distribute the edible food to those in need, while also showing the reduction of GHG by collecting food for donation versus collecting and processing organic waste?
    Only food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills is eligible to be included in an applicant’s diversion projections. To clarify further, a project that prevents food waste or rescues food that would otherwise be sent to a composting or anaerobic digestion facility is not eligible under this grant. We encourage diversion of edible food from all sources, but diversion of food waste from non-landfill sources (e.g. composting, anaerobic digestion, animal fee) cannot be funded through this grant program. We recognize that increased GHG benefits can be realized from rescuing food that would otherwise be composted, anaerobically digested, etc.; however, we are only measuring the GHG benefits for food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills.

    Applicants are required to demonstrate that all of the pounds included in their diversion projections would be sent to a California landfill if not for the food waste prevention or food rescue interventions of their project.

  9. Are applicants required to have United States citizenship?
    No. Applicants are not required to have United States citizenship to apply. For additional information, please refer to Eligible Applicants section on page 5 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

    Please note the Grants Management System does not allow for non-California counties/jurisdictions to be selected. If the organization’s headquarters is located out of California, you must select the county/jurisdiction in which the local California office is located. Please see the Application Instructions section on page 12 in the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  10. Would an eligible project include preparing and implementing a local grant program that provides funding and/or equipment to food rescue agencies to increase the amount of food donated that would have otherwise been disposed? In this project, the grant funds would supplement what the County is already planning to provide in local funding or equipment for food rescue.
  11. Grant funds cannot be used to implement another grant program. The recipient of the grant must be the entity implementing the food rescue or food waste prevention program.

  12. Can we count pounds of food from existing food donors if it is new pounds of food (e.g. contributing pounds of food from a new donor or new food types)?
  13. Yes, increased food rescued from an existing food donor can be counted as new diversion, if it is new diversion because of the grant project and it can be measured and tracked as new diversion above the existing baseline of donated food.

  14. Does the newly diverted poundage need to be rescued from landfill only? Some of our newly diverted poundage may currently be being composted rather than sent to landfill. It might be unduly burdensome to have donors track which pounds would have gone to landfill vs. been composted.
  15. Only food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills is eligible to be included in an applicant’s diversion projections. Food that would otherwise be sent to composting, anaerobic digestion, or animal feeding operation, etc. is not eligible under this grant and should not be included in an applicant’s diversion projections.

  16. Can grant funds be used for a “Needs Assessment” before beginning to physically divert food?
  17. Grant funds may not be used for a “needs assessment”. Please see the Eligible Costs section of the Procedures and Requirements.

  18. Are anticipated pounds of food rescued eligible, since without an awarded grant and related equipment we will not be able to continue picking up donations?
  19. The amount of eligible rescued food should be projected based on what the organization can achieve during the grant term using grant funds.

  20. If we know that some of the food waste addressed by our project is diverting waste from destinations other than landfill (e.g., sewer disposal, land application, incineration), can we include that in our diversion numbers, or should that strictly be food waste diverted from landfill?
  21. No. Only food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills is eligible under this grant. Food that would otherwise be diverted from other sources (e.g. sewer disposal, land application, incineration), is not eligible and should not be included in any diversion projections.

Funding

  1. Can funds be used to renovate or expand existing kitchens?
    Grant funds can potentially be used to renovate or expand existing kitchens if the costs will result in permanent, annual, and measurable reductions in GHG emissions through preventing food waste from being created, or rescuing food that would otherwise be sent to California landfills. For additional information, please refer to the Eligible Projects/Products and Project Requirements sections on page 7 and 8 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  2. Can funds be used for a food waste reduction education campaign?
    Grant funds can potentially be used for a food waste prevention education campaign. However, the education campaign must focus on preventing food waste from being created in the first place. Education focused on sending existing food waste to composting, anaerobic digestion, etc. is not eligible under the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program. In addition, the applicant must also be able to demonstrate that the education will result in quantifiable reductions in the amount of food waste generated. For example, the applicant should be able to provide a defensible explanation and methodology to describe the amount of food waste that will be prevented as a direct result of launching their food waste prevention education campaign.

    Note: Funding for education materials and education campaigns are subject to the following cap: Education materials are included in the category of “Salaries, public education, and outreach” which cannot exceed 50 percent of the applicant’s requested grant amount or $150,000 as listed in the Eligible Costs section of the Procedures and Requirements.

  3. Can funds be used to purchase a grinder to aid in composting food waste material, since there is no organics collection facility in our region?
    No, purchasing a grinder to aid in composting food waste would not be eligible for the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program. Composting projects are eligible under CalRecycle’s Organics Grant Program.

  4. Are consultant fees an eligible expense under this grant?
    Yes, consultant fees are eligible for reimbursement under the grant as part of the Indirect Cost budget category, but may not exceed 10 percent of the total grant award.

  5. Can grant funds be used for gleaning and picking tools, such as poles, pruners, rakes, tarps and brooms?
    Grant funding could potentially be used for gleaning and picking tools. However, funding for costs related to gleaning are only eligible if:
    1. The costs are consistent with the food rescue activities proposed in the applicant’s application.
    2. The gleaned produce would otherwise be sent to a landfill.
    Gleaning activities are only eligible if the applicant can demonstrate that the produce they will glean would otherwise be sent to a California landfill. If the gleaned produce would not otherwise be sent to a California landfill, but rather it would remain on the farm, in the tree, be sent to an animal feeding operation, composted, anaerobically digested, etc., then the activity is not eligible under this grant.

  6. Is rescuing food directly from farms eligible under this grant?
    Rescuing food directly from farms typically is not eligible under this grant, since the food in most cases is not destined for landfills. If an applicant includes food rescue from farms in their food rescue diversion projection, then the applicant must provide information to demonstrate that the food would otherwise be landfilled.

  7. Is there a cap on the amount of grant funds that may be assigned to Personnel?
    No. There is no cap to the amount of grant funds that may be assigned to Personnel. Personnel costs include the following; salaries for staff directly working on grant activities, including outreach and education efforts or providing job training programs, food rescue drivers, warehouse workers, kitchen staff, etc.

  8. Is there a requirement to hire a full-time staff person at the conclusion of the grant?
    While there is no requirement to hire a full-time staff person at the conclusion of the Grant Term, applications are scored on job creation and job training. Projects that will create new full-time jobs that will continue beyond the grant term can receive more points than a project that will not create new positions. Refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions, under Job Creation and Job Training, page 36, for more information.

  9. Can a city partner with a nonprofit for food donation and distribution, and use grant funds to help with those expenses?
    Yes, however, while a city can officially partner with a nonprofit under this grant program, grant funds must be used to prevent food waste or rescue food to feed people. It is important that the lead applicant is able to implement the project within the grant term (achieve diversion claimed, and fully utilize grant funds). If awarded, Leads will be responsible for the performance of the grant and all required documentation. CalRecycle will direct all official correspondence and grant payments to the Lead. Lead must reimburse participating entity(ies), then submit payment request to CalRecycle for reimbursement. For more information, see page 7 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  10. Are solar panels and installation eligible costs under this grant? If so, how do we account for the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions since solar panels are not included in the California Air Resources Board (CARB) calculator?
  11. Solar panels and associated installation are related to utility costs and can only be claimed under the Indirect Budget category, which is capped at 10 percent of the requested amount. The CARB calculator uses avoided GHG emissions at the landfill to calculate the emission reductions. The CARB calculator uses several assumptions to standardize the calculations and does not take into consideration aspects such as energy for utilities, and thus the use of solar panels will not be factored into the overall GHG calculations.

  12. Would contracting with a marketing agency to develop an educational campaign fit under the Education and Outreach category? Would development of educational videos fit into the Education and Outreach category?
  13. Contracting with a marketing agency to develop educational materials and outreach programs that result in quantifiable reductions in food waste, is an eligible cost. All education and outreach materials produced with grant funds require CalRecycle approval for content.

  14. Is translation of educational materials an allowable expense? If so, where should that be included in the budget?
  15. Translation services for grant-funded education and outreach materials is an eligible expense, and it should be included under the Education and Outreach budget category.

  16. Can funds be utilized to open a small food pantry at an existing city facility to assist residents experiencing food insecurity?
  17. Grant funds can be used for food preparation equipment, kitchenware, refrigeration, freezers, refrigeration systems, kitchen design and construction, etc.

  18. Can grant funds be used to purchase uniforms for the food pantry staff?
  19. Yes, uniforms can be included as a grant expense under the Indirect Budget category. This is a capped category.

  20. Is fuel to cover the expense of rescuing and redistributing food an indirect or direct cost?
  21. Fuel used to operate grant-funded vehicles is a direct cost and may be included in the Maintenance Budget category. Mileage for personal vehicles used for food rescue or prevention activities should be included in the Indirect Budget category.

  22. If our organization received $100,000 from a current CalRecycle grantee, should we provide an answer for Narrative Proposal Question 4, Past and Current Grantees?
  23. Question 4 in the Narrative Proposal only applies to organizations that were the Lead grantee in a past Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant cycle. If your organization was not the Lead grantee in a past grant cycle, you must still provide a response to specify that. Each Narrative Proposal question must have a response.

  24. Would using grant funds to purchase a de-packaging unit to increase the diversion of food scraps from landfill disposal be considered an eligible project for the Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program?
  25. A de-packaging unit is not an eligible cost under this grant program.

  26. Is an industrial scale, to weigh food before loading on truck, an allowable expense?
  27. Yes, an industrial scale, to weigh rescued food, is an eligible expense under this grant.

  28. Are cash or credit incentives (e.g. gift cards, promotional items, or raffle prizes) eligible costs under this grant program?
  29. No. These types of items are not eligible under this grant program. For more information on this policy, please visit our web page about promotional items.

  30. We are working with an organization that converts shipping containers into solar powered refrigeration units. Would the purchase of these refrigerated containers qualify as an expense under this grant program?
  31. If the converted shipping containers, being used as solar powered refrigeration units, result in new diversion of rescued food from California landfills, then the expense would be considered eligible under this grant program.

  32. Would an educational campaign focused on providing food donors with information about how to engage in a food recovery program (edible food for people) be an allowable expense in the Education and Outreach category, or is this type of activity only allowed for food waste prevention programs?
  33. An educational campaign designed to increase the participation of food donors in food recovery programs is an eligible expense. Content of all grant-funded materials must be approved by the Grant Manager, if awarded.

  34. Can funds be earmarked in this grant for maintenance, fuel, or operational expenses of food recovery vehicles that are already owned and operated by the Lead or Partner?
  35. No. Existing vehicles, even if funded through a previous cycle of this grant program, are not eligible for maintenance costs in this cycle. Maintenance and fuel costs are only eligible for grant-funded vehicles requested in this cycle.

  36. Can grant funds be used to pay for an internship for a UCI student, related to food recovery and food waste composting, provided the maximum hourly rate guidelines are followed?
  37. Staff and student salaries are eligible under this grant, as long as they are related to food waste prevention and food rescue activities. Positions focused on food rescue are considered eligible; however, positions focused on food waste composting are not eligible under this grant.

  38. Is a trailer (that can be towed by a vehicle) that is used for food recovery pickups an eligible expense?
  39. Yes. A trailer that is used specifically to rescue food is an eligible expense under this grant.

  40. Can grantees purchase a used refrigerated truck with grant funds?
  41. Vehicles do not have to be new to be eligible under this grant. However, applicants should provide all specifications for vehicles, including year, make, model, and any refrigeration or other modifications. Additionally, applicants should consider longevity of grant-funded vehicles as grant-funded equipment must be in use for at least five years after the end of the grant per the Real and Personal Property Acquired with Grant Funds section of the Terms and Conditions.

  42. Can consultants be included in the budget?
  43. Consultants may be included under the Indirect or Personnel budget categories.

Application

  1. If an organization has multiple locations doing a food waste prevention or rescue project, do they submit separate applications?
    An organization may include multiple locations in one application for the same project. Individual sites or project locations should be listed on the Site(s) tab of the application. See the Eligible Applicants section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  2. Do non-profit Food Banks and municipalities have to submit resolutions?
    Any applicant that is subject to a governing body must upload a Resolution that authorizes specific grant-related matters. However, some publicly held businesses or private companies with a governing body may submit a Letter of Commitment. A copy of the authorizing Resolution or Letter of Commitment is a required application document that must be uploaded no later than the secondary due date. See pages 20–22 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for more information.

    CalRecycle staff are available to answer questions about the Resolution or letter examples. For immediate review, you may email a draft Resolution to grantassistance@calrecycle.ca.gov.

  3. The Application Guidelines and Instructions state that “only two applications per qualifying entity” may be submitted. Are the many departments in a large city or county considered separate entities or one?
    A city or county is the eligible applicant, not the department within the city or county. The city or county may submit up to two applications.

  4. Do all subcontractors that will receive personnel funds (e.g. a marketing firm that supports education and outreach activities) need to be an official partner?
  5. No, subcontractors and staff do not need to apply as official partners. However, any entity that will receive and operate grant-funded equipment should be included as an official project partner. Salaries should be included under the Indirect/Admin or Personnel Budget categories.

  6. Will projects benefiting priority populations (as defined by the California Air Resources Board Priority Population Investments webpage) be prioritized? Where can we include information about priority population benefits in the grant application?
  7. Projects that benefit priority populations are not prioritized, however, points are awarded in the scoring of applications for projects that create one or more new full-time jobs that will continue beyond the grant term. For more information, refer to page 36, Job Creation and Job Training section of the Application Guidelines and Instructions.

  8. Where should job training be included in the grant budget?
  9. Costs such as certificate fees, license fees, and background checks should be included in the Indirect Budget category. Staff hours to train other staff should be included under Personnel. Please note, food or beverage at training events is not an eligible cost.

  10. Can you expand on the requirement to “ensure that any food waste residuals from the food rescue project must be composted or sent to a digester within the project service area if available?” If food scrap recycling services are not offered through a city, and the only options for getting food scrap recycling service is by paying a community composting group or other business, would food rescue organizations be required to contract with these groups to ensure no food is landfilled?
  11. If no composting or anaerobic digestion services are offered through the city, grantees should identify other community groups, organizations, or businesses that can provide services to avoid landfilling food waste residuals (food scraps). In addition to composting or anaerobic digestion, residual food waste that is not fit for human consumption can be sent to animal feed or pig farms, if available in your local area.

  12. Which version of the Grant Resolution should we use as a lead applicant with three formal project partners? Which version of the Grant Resolution should each of our formal project partners use?
  13. Individual applicants with a governing body may use the Individual Resolution template. If the applicant does not have a governing body, then submit a Letter of Commitment. Joint Applicants may use the Regional Resolution template, if they have a governing body. If no governing body, submit a Letter of Commitment. The templates CalRecycle provides are guidelines, and applicants must adjust language as needed to conform to application type. As for the project partners, please see Application Guidelines and Instructions page 7 for Joint Application Requirements. There are instructions on what the Resolution and Letter of Commitment must contain on pages 21–22.

  14. If our project is only focused on food waste prevention (not rescue), do we need to submit a Food Rescue/Materials flow chart?
  15. A flow chart is not a required document for Food Prevention projects. Only Food Rescue projects need to submit a flow chart.

  16. How do we earmark grant funds to formal project partners?
  17. Grant funds can only be reimbursed to the Lead/grantee (if awarded) for approved eligible costs. Grant funds can be used for activities and equipment for Formal Project Partners that have been appropriately certified through the application process.

    Equipment requested for Lead Applicants or Formal Project Partners must be detailed in the application, be included in the Budget Template document, and have accompanying quotes for large items or GHG-producing equipment. There is a specific column in the Budget Template where applicants should include which entity is receiving grant expenditures.

  18. Can memorandum of understandings (MOUs) between partners replace Letter of Commitments (LOCs) or Resolutions?
  19. No. The MOU is an agreement between the Lead and the Formal Project Partner. The LOC or Resolution from a formal project partner authorizes specific grant-related matters.

  20. Are memorandum of understandings (MOUs) with food donors required for the application?
  21. An MOU from food donors is not a required application document; however, as outlined in the Application Guidelines and Instructions, Scoring Criteria Assessment section, applicants can earn a higher score by providing MOUs or a written commitment from all key project participants to demonstrate their commitment to participating in the proposed project for the entire Grant Term.

    In addition, applicants can also earn a higher score if they provide MOUs (if applicable) and multiple letters from key project partners (e.g. food donors, food waste prevention sites, etc.) that demonstrate their commitment to participating in the proposed project for the entire Grant Term. For additional information, please refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions, Scoring Criteria Assessment section.

  22. We have many current donors and agency partners (over 100) that participate in our existing program, and who may increase their donation (newly diverted pounds) during the project year. Do we need letters of support from all current donors and MOUs or Letters of Support from all Agency Partners? Would letters of support from a selected few suffice?
  23. Applicants can earn a higher score if they provide MOUs (if applicable) and multiple letters from key project participants (e.g. food donors, food waste prevention sites, etc.) that demonstrate their commitment to participating in the proposed project for the entire Grant Term. Written commitments or MOUs (as applicable) from several selected donors and key project partners should be sufficient to demonstrate their commitment to the proposed project. For additional information, please refer to the Application Guidelines and Instructions, Scoring Criteria Assessment section.

  24. Is it expected that prospective new donors will already have been identified prior to application submission? Finding new donors will be part of our implementation plan.
  25. Applicants can include known, as well as unknown, donors to be solicited later as part of the project (if awarded). However, CalRecycle suggests obtaining commitments from new food donors as early as possible to ensure that new diversion can be achieved within the grant term.

    Please note, the Application Guidelines and Instructions, Scoring Criteria Assessment section specifies the scoring criteria that will be used to score applications. As part of the scoring criteria, applicants are expected to describe the actions that they or their formal project partners have already taken or will take to ensure that the proposed FW4 grant project will be completed within the Grant Term, and that all grant funds requested will be expended within the Grant Term. Applicants that have new food donors identified and letters from those food donors will likely receive a higher score than applicants that do not have commitments from new food donors.

  26. Under the Job Information and Resumes for Personnel Positions, it says applicants must provide detailed info for personnel positions requested in the budget, including resumes. We would only hire these personnel if we receive the grant funding; in other words, these people do not currently work for us. Should we only provide the resumes of people who are currently working for us, and for whom we will pay using grant funding, and not worry about the resumes for people we have yet to hire?
  27. Applicants should provide detailed job descriptions and hourly pay rates for proposed positions, and resumes for current positions of current positions that are proposed to be paid with grant funds, if awarded.

    Applicants should only provide the resumes of current staff that they will pay using grant funds, if awarded.

    Please note, applicants should review the Application Guidelines and Instructions, Scoring Criteria Assessment section, page 36 to ensure that they include all of the necessary information for both existing and newly created grant-funded jobs and job training,

  28. Our organization is joining with a JPA for the FW4 application. Our organization will be the lead grantee and we currently have a MOU with the JPA. What documentation needs to be submitted for our organization as the lead grantee and the JPA as the participating entity?
  29. The documentation that should be submitted with this type of application should be a Lead Resolution/Letter of Commitment for a joint application, a Resolution/Letter of Commitment from the participating (formal project partner), and the formal project partner’s JPA Agreement. The JPA Agreement must include information giving authority over solid waste management, list all member entities, and contain members’ signatures. Please see page 21 of the Application Guidelines and Instructions for Joint Application Requirements.

  30. Are JPAs restricted to applying only as individual applicants? In the Application Guidelines and Instructions, the JPA section on page 7 seems to imply as such. What is the difference between submitting an individual versus a joint application? Could an individual applicant use the money to benefit multiple organizations (e.g., buy trucks for other organizations), or would it be restricted to spending the money for itself? Is it more appropriate for us as a JPA to submit an individual or a joint application? If approved, we would primarily be administering the grant and taking care of the reports. However, we are partnering with two non-profits, for whom we intend to buy equipment. We as the JPA are not intending to use the grant money for ourselves, except for staff time spent on grant administration.
  31. Joint Powers Authority are considered a single entity. JPAs may submit applications as an individual applicant, or as a joint applicant with other participating entities. If a JPA is applying as the lead applicant in a joint application and will be purchasing grant-funded equipment for participating entities, the participating entities should be listed as Formal Project Partners. All entities that receive grant-funded equipment should be listed as Formal Project Partners.

  32. The proposed project is mostly food rescue, but may include food waste prevention, in the form of education later in the project. Should we answer both rescue and prevention question in the narrative proposal?
  33. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how each aspect of the proposed project will be accomplished in the application. If the application has food rescue and food waste prevention components, then the applicant should answer all applicable questions that apply in the narrative proposal.

  34. For past or current CalRecycle Food Waste Prevention and Rescue projects that qualified to reapply and are planning on expansion with existing partners – how should we estimate our baseline? Also, how should we estimate newly diverted food waste projections, since x pounds of food is not going to landfill monthly now because of the grant, but if not funded again would potentially go back to the landfill because of lack of financial capacity to sustain the program due to Covid-19?
  35. The Baseline equates to the diversion an applicant was achieving prior to the proposed grant project. If an applicant was a prior FW grantee, the diversion they achieved in the prior FW grant is considered baseline. Food recovered in the proposed grant project is only eligible if it is newly diverted from California landfills above and beyond baseline diversion. If an applicant was recovering food before COVID-19 impacts, and has since not recovered that food due to COVID-19 impacts, that food is not considered newly diverted.

    Also, we plan to ramp up the diversion with our partners through prevention strategies that were delayed this grant cycle because of COVID-19, would those prevention estimates be included in this proposal as newly diverted?

    If the proposed activities result in new diversion, past or current grantees can propose activities that were not executed in a previous grant. Applicants should provide detailed answers about how the diversion can be measured and tracked as new diversion from California landfills above the existing baseline.

  36. Can we submit a letter of commitment from a partner organization agreeing to install a two-door commercial refrigerator in their existing facility?
  37. A Letter of Commitment is used by private entities to show a commitment to partaking in the Grant Program. Formal Project Partners will need to sign a Grant Agreement if they will be receiving grant-funded equipment.

  38. Regarding the Food Rescue Flow Chart: If a project includes or is heavily focused on prevention (not rescue), how should the applicants approach the Food Rescue Flow Chart? Is it expected that this document match our diversion numbers in other documents?
  39. Projects that have both food rescue and prevention components should submit a materials flow chart detailing out the flow of the rescued food and involved entities. If an applicant wishes, they may also submit a prevention flow chart, but it is not required. In addition, if the applicant only submits the required food rescue flow chart, then the diversion total entered in various grant documents will not match the flow chart. However, there are questions in the Narrative Proposal that require the applicant to separate diversion numbers between prevention and rescue projects.

    Please note that applications are also scored on consistency in the information that is provided. Inconsistencies throughout the application will result in an application receiving a lower score.

  40. How should we provide the detailed information for the Personnel and Administrative positions requested (including job descriptions, estimated total hours, salaries, and resumes, and must show how they are relevant to the grant.)? In addition, concerning salaries, should that include the total annual salary for the position working on the project, or just the portion of the salary that will be attributed to the grant? For instance, if someone's annual salary is $100,000 but we are only allocating 50 percent of their time to the project to be funded by the grant, do we list $100,000 or $50,000?
  41. You can provide a narrative answer to Question 21 in the Narrative Proposal (in the space provided) and upload supporting documents providing the requested information into GMS, Documents Tab labeled as “Supporting Documentation”.

    CalRecycle funding should cover the portion of the cost attributed to the grant. Applicants should fill out the Budget Template with line items such as salaries for personnel, and show the totals of which entity will be covering which portion, including the CalRecycle grant funds and other funding sources.

  42. Our project works directly with food businesses operating in the state of California and it is unknown at this point specifically what retail store locations will participate. The project will work with 1,200 or more sites of food businesses across California. Do all individual business locations need to be listed, or could we alternatively include the Headquarter address of each entity? If we do need to list all 1,200 or more locations, is it acceptable to upload a list of the locations as opposed to entering each individual site into the GMS sites tab? These sites are not owned or leased by the project partners, but they are where interventions might be implemented.
  43. If the locations are food donors, they do not need to be entered into the Site tab. A list of food donors may be uploaded into GMS as supporting documentation. Only locations receiving grant funds should be added to the Site tab.