Open Collective
Open Collective

Free Food Collective has been archived.

Free Food Collective has been archived and is no longer active.

Free Food Collective

We recover perfectly good food that's destined for landfills and deliver it to unhoused folks living in West LA instead. Email [email protected] to get involved.

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Estimated Annual Budget


Welcome to Free Food Collective. 

We are abolitionists fighting for food sovereignty in LA.

Globally, 30-40% of all food is sent to landfills, where it emits methane gas (84x more potent than CO2!). Meanwhile 38 million people experienced hunger in the US in 2020. This is a humanitarian crisis and environmental disaster. We work to stop this on a local level by recovering excess food in LA and giving to people who need it instead. Since we started this project in May 2021, we have recovered over 46,000 pounds of fresh food and made over 6000 meals.

Our work.

We recover fresh produce and prepared food on multiple days of the week. We are working on expanding as opportunities for food recovery and volunteer capacity become available. If you're interested in joining either team, we would love to have you.

Grocery Team:
Volunteers pick up extra produce from local farmers markets, and then we sort them into grocery bags for our neighbors. Transportation is a huge hurdle for unhoused folks, so we deliver the grocery bags directly to their encampments. We give fruit to folks who do not have access to cookware and vegetables for those that cook. We currently serve approximately 5 different encampments of various sizes all throughout West LA.

Meals Team:
Volunteers pick up excess prepared food from local events. We recover, reheat, and repackage the prepared food into individual meals for unhoused folks in West LA.

At-Home Meals Team:
Volunteers are delivered ingredients to make approximately 20 lunches from the comfort of their own home. Ingredients are a mix of recovered food, supplemented by food items we may need to purchase to make the meals complete.


Our ultimate goal is to end the commodification of our survival needs: food, water, housing. We reject a society that values profits over human needs. We do not accept that food is being sent to landfills, which are situated next to our poorest communities, while our city officials continuously leave our unhoused neighbors without access to food and the resources they need to survive.

How we plan to use our funds.

1. Expanding our efforts.
We plan to expand our efforts to recover more food, in particular prepared food. To do this, we will need access to cold storage, a repackaging kitchen, and to-go supplies.

2. Purchasing survival supplies.
Hot plates, crock pots, shelf-stable food, cooking supplies, tents, sleeping bags, clothing, hygiene kits, harm reduction supplies, etc. We prefer gently used second hand items for household items and clothing. Please email us to donate yours.

3. Maintaining our current work and supporting our volunteers.
We currently are able to self-sustain on very little to no money, using all donated materials. However, with the rising cost of gas, we would like to support our volunteers by reimbursing them for the gas they use when picking up and delivering produce.

4. Supporting our partner organizations, LA Neighbors for Neighbors and Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid.
We support Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid, an organization that supports our unhoused community through weekly harm reduction efforts and thoughtful outreach at encampments in West LA. We provide a bagel bar for LA Neighbors for Neighbors, an organization that puts on a monthly resource center for unhoused folks living in West LA. 


All of the food we recover that is not fit for consumption is composted. Once our compost is ready, we give it to one of our unhoused neighbors that has a lovely garden. This extra step builds a truly sustainable, circular food system; and ensures no food goes to waste.


Let’s get the ball rolling!

News from Free Food Collective

Updates on our activities and progress.

We are losing our non-profit fiscal sponsor :(

Hey all, We are very sad to report that our Fiscal Sponsor, Open Collective, is dissolving. The last day for us to collect tax deductible donations on this platform is March 15th. Please consider donating to us before that day to keep our w...
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Published on March 12, 2024 by Brett

2023 Highlights

Our Year in NumbersIn 2023 we diverted over 20,000 pounds of fresh food from landfills and created about 6,000 meals for our community. Since we started our organization in May 2021, we have recovered a grand total of 47,51...
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Published on January 10, 2024 by Brett

That's a wrap! Our 2022 year highlights!

Before we head into the new year, we wanted to take a little time to reflect on the beast that was 2022! Thanks to our donors and volunteers, we were able to grow our small organization in a sustainable way, and we look forward to new endea...
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Published on December 30, 2022 by Brett


Transparent and open finances.

Today’s balance

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Total raised

$22,453.30 USD

Total disbursed

$22,453.30 USD

Estimated annual budget

$12,984.98 USD


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