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How to Recover Food


As a grocery store or food generator you have an opportunity to help us feed a very hungry community and help the environment at the same time.

We make it easy to help.

1/ Contact Shari Rightmer, our Executive Director.

She will help set up any training required for your staff and get a schedule in place so that your team knows exactly when the food will be picked up.

2/ Collect the food that is past its “sell by” date.

This includes produce, dairy, meat, bakery, deli, and eggs. It’s important to get the food off the shelves when the date is past so that we have the time sort and redistribute the food. Waiting too long past the “sell by” date can jeopardize the quality of the food and it may have to be disposed of.


Several organizations want to help feed the hungry. It’s important that you select an organization that can gather, sort, store, and redistribute the food maintaining its quality and safety.


In January 2021, California implemented a law [SB1383] that restricts the disposal of organic waste on to landfills.  The intent is to reduce the development and release of methane gas created by the organic waste rotting in landfills.

One extremely positive by-product of the legislation is that edible food—food that may be past its “sell-by" date but is still completely fine to eat—must be repurposed and redistributed. With 1 in 5 Californians experiencing food insecurities, this legislation will help local food banks—like Laborers of the Harvest—to repurpose and redistribute tasty, nutritious food to hungry families.

Grocery stores, convenience stores, and cafeterias, really any establishment that sells or distributes food will have to ensure that edible food is picked up by organizations that can properly account for the amount of food collected and the means to distribute it to the community. Enforcement will begin after an educational period and fines/penalties for non- compliance are expected.

Laborers of the Harvest has a long history of meeting the needs of the community’s hungry families. Every month, we distribute thousands of pounds of food. Our popular Open Harvest Program is open in Taft every Tuesday and Thursday in the evenings for working people and features fresh food in addition to canned and shelf-stable foods. We have additional locations and distribution days throughout the month as well.

Your organization can be part of the solution


If you will be impacted by SB1383 and you want a competent, compliant, well-organized, and experienced team to help you navigate through these new regulations as well as get edible food onto the tables of Kern County, contact us.

Laborers of the Harvest



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