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Safeway Increases Northern California Food Donations by 20% in Three Months with Optimization Solution from Divert, Inc.

Retailer leverages Divert’s proprietary data, waste reduction and food recovery strategies to meet state-led organic waste recovery goals


Divert, Inc., an impact technology company on a mission to Protect the Value of Food™, and Safeway, the leading banner operated by Albertsons Companies, today announced results from the implementation of Divert’s optimization solution to reduce wasted food and accelerate food recovery efforts. In three months, Safeway increased its food donations by 20%, reducing the edible food going to waste by an average of 1,252 pounds per store per month. Through leveraging Divert’s proprietary data and identifying root causes of wasted food from an operational perspective, Divert has empowered the retailer to improve its food donation program. 

“Safeway is committed to help put food on the table to nourish our neighbors in need,” said Karl Schroeder, President of Safeway’s Northern California Division. “Divert is a critical partner in helping us increase our food recovery efforts, sharing strategies and key insights across our business to drive immediate results. We value their tailored, collaborative approach to food recovery.”

California businesses are striving to comply with the state’s Senate Bill (SB) 1383 legislation to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% and increase edible food recovery statewide by 2025. Safeway turned to Divert in early 2024 to implement solutions to optimize its wasted food prevention and food recovery to feed more people in need. In collaborating with Divert, Safeway has been able to significantly increase its donations to the local Alameda County Community Food Bank in just a few months.

“One in four residents in our community is experiencing or at-risk of hunger,” says Alameda County Community Food Bank, which distributes food to 400 food pantries and other non-profits in the California Bay Area. “Divert and Safeway share our commitment to tackling food insecurity and pursuing a hunger-free community. The collective work with these incredible partners has made a significant impact on increasing our food donations, helping us provide nearly 1 million meals worth of food to our community every week. Together we are working toward a more nourished Alameda County where no child or adult needs to worry where their next meal is coming from.” 

Divert’s field team works hand-in-hand with Safeway and Alameda County Community Food Bank employees, including implementing waste reduction and food recovery strategies tailored to the store’s operation needs. At the start of the program, Divert analyzed Safeway’s current donation performance and then used Divert’s proprietary data to uncover new opportunities for waste reduction. Divert’s diversion specialists are able to identify and facilitate joint initiatives between Safeway and its donation partners, creating a customized optimization playbook to empower them to increase food recovery efforts. Together, Divert and Safeway can strategically execute campaigns at the stores with the greatest food recovery potential within each division, continually measuring performance to track progress. 

“To truly have an impact on the wasted food crisis, we need to collectively work together across the value chain,” said Ben Kuethe Oaks, VP of Customer Solutions & Success, Divert. “Safeway is at the forefront of this effort and an example to Californians of how to effectively bring together technology, infrastructure, and policy to significantly reduce organic waste and get food to communities in need.”

These results from Divert’s optimization solution implementation with Safeway are for a selection of stores in its Northern California division. The program is continuing to expand to additional stores and regions with the greatest opportunity. To learn more about how the optimization solution helped Safeway waste less and donate more, download the full case study here.

About Divert, Inc.
Divert, Inc. is an impact technology company on a mission to Protect the Value of Food™. Founded in 2007, the company creates advanced technologies and sustainable infrastructure to eliminate wasted food, driving social and environmental impact. Divert provides an end-to-end solution that prevents waste by maximizing the freshness of food, recovers edible food to serve communities in need, and converts wasted food into renewable energy. The company works with over 6,600 customer locations across the U.S. to reduce wasted food and positively impact people and the environment. Their customer base spans across industries and includes five Fortune 100 companies. For more information on Divert, Inc., please visit www.divertinc.com

About Safeway
Safeway is one of the most well-recognized grocery retail brands with a long-standing reputation for quality and service, proudly serving Northern California since 1926.  Today, the company operates 290 stores across Northern California, Nevada, and Hawaii, under four banners, including Andronico’s, Safeway, Pak N’ Save, and Vons.  In 2023, the Safeway Northern California Division donated more than $40 million in food and financial support to charitable organizations in the communities it serves. Safeway is a division of Albertsons Companies. 

Divert Media Contact
Caroline Legg
(203) 313-4228
clegg@divertinc.com

Safeway Media Contact
Wendy Gutshall
(925) 467-3523
wendy.gutshall@safeway.com

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