Food Rescue Innovation

People loading fruit onto truck
Volunteers unloading surplus food, which will get redistributed to families in need. This is one part of “rescuing food” that would otherwise have gone to garbage or compost.

Food Rescue Innovation Grant

Starting March 1, 2024, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is accepting grant applications to improve the distribution of edible, unsold food to feed people while reducing food going to waste. This is one critical way of helping people have enough to eat while keeping valuable food out of compost and garbage collection. Studies show that food is the single largest material going to garbage from Seattle businesses and is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases. This grant will provide seed funding to test innovative approaches that could ultimately be scaled or replicated with private sector, nonprofit, or philanthropic funding.

Grant Application Deadline: April 26, 2024, 11:59 PM

Funding Overview

  • Requests may range from $50,000 to $100,000 per proposal
  • Up to two proposals will be funded
  • There is a 5% matching funds requirement
  • Grant awards are paid on a reimbursement basis. Award recipients may request up to 10% of the total grant award in advance to support project start-up costs.
  • Projects may begin no sooner than mid-June 2024. Work must be completed within one year. 

Eligible Proposals Must:

  • Increase the quality or quantity of commercially donated or discounted food going to people in need while reducing overall food waste going into garbage or compost. Projects must measure, collect, and make data available to show whether this approach reduced overall food waste.
  • Take place within Seattle city limits and benefit food access in Seattle
  • Include development of a funding plan to show how activities will be financially sustained without City funding after the grant
  • Advance two or more priorities in innovation, economic viability, scale of project/potential impact and equity. See Grant Guidelines (PDF) for details.

Who Should Apply

  • Businesses
  • Nonprofits
  • Community and neighborhood groups
  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Institutions (such as health care or housing)
  • Faith-based organizations

Information Sessions

Listen to an online presentation about the application process and ask questions. Both sessions will have the same information. Recordings will be posted on this page after the sessions.

Thursday, March 14, 11 am - noon

  • Webex link:
    • Join online: Food Rescue Innovation Grant Info Session #1
      • Meeting number (access code): 2630 941 7820
      • Meeting password: 2024
    • Join by phone: (415) 655-0001 United States Toll
      • Access code: 2630 941 7820
    • Join by video system:
      • Dial 26309417820@cascadia2.webex.com
      • You can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter your meeting number

Monday, March 18, 5:30 - 6:30 pm

  • Webex link:
    • Join online: Food Rescue Innovation Grant Info Session #2
      • Meeting number (access code): 2633 402 9144
      • Meeting password: 2024
    • Join by phone: (415) 655-0001 United States Toll
      • Access code: 2633 402 9144
    • Join by video system:
      • Dial 26334029144@cascadia2.webex.com
      • You can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter your meeting number

    One-on-One Meetings

    Email SPU_FoodRescue@seattle.gov or call (206) 615-0516 to schedule a one-on-one meeting to ask questions about the grant.

    Public Utilities

    Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
    Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
    Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
    Phone: (206) 684-3000
    SPUCustomerService@seattle.gov

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    Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.