Frequently Asked Questions

Food Recovery:
In the U.S.
80 billion pounds of food are wasted every year, while over 37 millions of Americans are working to overcome hunger. To address this reality that harms our communities and environment, Food Shift recovers excess produce from wholesalers before it gets thrown away, supplying 80% of it to partner food assistance organizations and using 20% to fuel our social enterprise, The Food Shift Kitchen. Learn more here.

Culinary Training:
The Food Shift Kitchen provides on-the-job culinary training and paid apprenticeships for our SF Bay Area neighbors overcoming employment barriers. Under the mentorship of our Culinary Director, apprentices gain valuable workplace skills to support future employment. Learn more here.

JEDI Consulting:
Food Shift offers advisory and consulting services to establish organizational practices that arise from values of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). JEDI is at the heart of climate and food justice. We see it as part of our mission to continue to learn and challenge ourselves to exercise our JEDI values and share with others on this journey. Learn more here.

Food Waste Reduction Consulting:
With our extensive experience and understanding of the complex ecosystem around food production, waste, and access, we educate and support organizations to improve their sustainable practices.
In light of California’s SB1383, we assist our clients with implementing programs and training for compliance. Contact to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Education and Policy Change:
We support bills and initiatives across the food sector that offer long term solutions to food apartheid and food waste.
We also work with our community to raise awareness of food waste and food injustice. Visit our Reduce Your Waste” page for helpful tips on cutting down food waste at home, at the market, and at school. 

If you’re interested in volunteering, interning, or working with us, refer to our open positions page to view current opportunities, and email with any questions. The easiest way to support our work is to make a recurring monthly donation to help sustain our operations year-round.

In April 2020, Food Shift launched Operation Together, a relief program designed to combat rising food waste and food insecurity due to the pandemic. Through Operation Together, Food Shift recovers and distributes excess food to fuel frontline food assistance organizations in the Bay Area. Despite the suspension of revenue generating programs like our catering service, we expanded our food recovery to the Oakland Produce Market and in the first three months of the program distributed 30+ tons of food, weekly reaching over 10,000 people in the Bay Area working toward food security. We’ve also raised over $100,000 worth of in-kind donations, exceeding our $50,000 funding goal well before our July 1st deadline.

This pandemic has exacerbated financial insecurity within our community, which translates into greater food insecurity and increased demand for food assistance/distribution resources. We invite you to join us in assisting those already working hard to overcome food insecurity. Whether it’s through funding, supplies, or services, all donations help sustain our food redistribution service. If you’d like to contribute to #OperationTogether, we invite you to make a donation here or contact to offer volunteer services or learn about other opportunities. 

California State Legislation Senate Bill 1383 is a groundbreaking regulation in California aimed at reducing methane emissions from organic waste in California’s landfills. Food waste alone accounts for approximately 17-18% of landfills. The fact that this bill calls for reducing food waste (with a specific component encouraging edible food rescue) makes it stand out from previous organics-focused legislation. Short-lived Climate Pollutants: Organic Waste Methane Emissions Reduction legislation, along with its Food Recovery component, was adopted in September 2016 and municipalities and businesses will need to implement and comply with the new regulations starting January 2022.

We offer consulting services to help business, organizational, and government entities not only comply with this legislation but go above and beyond to effectively support food recovery programs and job creation in the food recovery sector. Contact to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Do not be fooled! Labels on food like “Sell by” and “Best if Used By/Before” simply reflect the manufacturer’s recommendations for peak quality and usually do not indicate a food safety risk. These labels—with the exception of infant formula—are not federally regulated, and because there are no uniform or universally accepted standards for these dates in the U.S. they often cause more confusion for consumers and premature disposal of perfectly good food. Here is the USDA’s guide for distinguishing between the different labels.

Food Shift was founded in 2012 by Dana Frasz, as a project of the Earth Island Institute. In 2016, we launched our joint food recovery and social enterprise model, creating our kitchen curriculum and graduating our first 7 apprentices in 2017. Since then, we’ve welcomed our new Executive Director, Yuka Nagashima, and have launched our COVID-19 relief program, Operation Together.

We are so grateful to receive both monetary and in-kind donations from our wonderful community partners, listed on our Partnerships” page. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we earned additional revenue through our social enterprise catering program.

Headquartered at the Alameda Point Collaborative, where most of our neighbors and apprentices are Black, what we see in the media isn’t merely news, statistical, or theoretical in any way. It is personal. The structural racism that underpins the state-sanctioned violence against our Black neighbors is also built into our food ecosystem, therefore food justice requires racial justice. Solutions must be by the people, for the people, and with the people.

Food Shift stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and actively works to partner with BIPOC community members to fight racial inequities within the food system through strategic community partnerships, policy change, outreach and education, and equitable internal hiring practices. 

We have integrated mandatory race and cultural awareness training into our staff professional development and volunteering on-boarding. We will continue to prioritize attracting BIPOC candidates through inclusive hiring practices, job descriptions with no unnecessary requirements, and carefully tracked hiring metrics.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic landed in March 2020, Food Shift offered a robust catering program that utilized recovered food that would have been otherwise wasted, and transformed it into healthy, delicious meals.  This was powered by our social enterprise program, the Food Shift Kitchen, which provided apprentices with culinary training, a livable wage, and valuable life skills. The pandemic and resulting shutdowns closed many offices and outlets for catering, as well as our kitchen. As of Spring 2022, we have returned to offering our culinary training program, but have not yet returned to offering catering services. We will monitor opportunities as we continue to move towards pre-pandemic levels of comfort, and hope to resume catering when the time is right.