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Over 500,000 tons of food get wasted in San Diego County every year, while at the same time over 500,000 residents face food insecurity. Smart Kitchens San Diego (SKSD), a “Save The Food San Diego” initiative spearheaded by the San Diego Food System Alliance, is here to change that. Fourteen of San Diego County’s largest hotels, hospitals, and universities participate in SKSD, which provides sites with subsidized Leanpath food waste tracking technology. In addition to preventing food waste at the source, SKSD creates an additional diversion opportunity by setting up food donation programs at each participant site. Standard operating procedures for prepared food donation are developed for each kitchen to ensure safe and reliable food rescue. Food donations go to local San Diego Food Bank partner agencies to help nourish the growing number of children, families, and individuals facing food insecurity in the San Diego region. Funded by the CA Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) through California Climate Investments, the Smart Kitchens San Diego program is designed to reduce our carbon footprint by redistributing food that would otherwise end up in our landfill.
Why does the grant focus on food waste tracking? You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The LeanPath system consists of an in-kitchen smart scale and touch screen interface to track food waste. Back end analytics crunch the numbers and identify your top waste items and reasons for the waste. Based on this data, coaches help kitchen teams develop strategies and practices to prevent the waste from happening. Foodservice operations typically throw away 4-10% of the food they purchase before it reaches a customer’s plate, due to overproduction, expiration, spoilage and trimmings. That’s $40,000 to $100,000 worth of food for every $1 million in food purchases! LeanPath can reduce those numbers by up to 50%.
Contact Geertje Grootenhuis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 858-245-3781