Local restaurant receives first reusable foodware grant in pilot program

Los Angeles, CA  – Today LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN)’s Reusable Foodware Microgrant Program donated reusable plates, bowls, cups, serving dishes and other products to Pupuseria Cuzcatlan in Pacoima. This program is available to small food service establishments (FSEs) in the City of Los Angeles that want to make the transition from disposable to reusable foodware, but need financial assistance.


“The City of Los Angeles is helping our small businesses make the transition to reusable materials, and we’re excited for CD7’s first microgrant recipient to receive their new supplies,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who represents the Pacoima community. “With the materials provided through these microgrants, small businesses, especially those in economically and environmentally challenged neighborhoods, can transition more easily to reusable items.”


LASAN has $600,000 in approved funding that can be used to purchase reusable foodware for eligible FSEs. Items range from plates, bowls, cups and utensils, to trays, dispensers, and linens.  For this initial pilot, priority will be given to FSEs located in Clean Up Green Up (CUGU) communities of South Los Angeles, Wilmington, Boyle Heights, and Pacoima that are disproportionately impacted by the overconcentration of environmental hazards.


The goal is to provide CUGU small businesses equitable access to funding and technical support to reduce pollution, improve their operations, and bottom line. FSEs in other areas are welcome to apply and may still receive assistance until funding runs out.


“LASAN is laser-focused on helping prevent single-use plastics from polluting our communities, rivers and oceans or ending up in landfills,” said Board of Public Works Commissioner Susana Reyes.. “So far, our comprehensive approach includes prohibiting single-use plastic bags and expanded polystyrene products (aka Styrofoam) from businesses, and requiring straws, utensils, and condiment packets to be distributed only upon request. What I love about this new program is that it provides resources to restaurants to easily shift to reusable products, which means cost savings for them, and maximum benefit for the environment.”


LASAN has partnered with APTIM, ReThink Disposable, and The Bay Foundation to conduct outreach and assessments, purchase reusable products, provide technical assistance and training to FSEs, and overall grant management. Grace Lee, the National Director of Rethink Disposable and Tom Ford, CEO of The Bay Foundation also attended the event today, along with Board of Public Works Commissioner Susana Reyes.

Other small FSEs that will receive deliveries in the coming weeks are Baba’s Vegan Cafe in South Los Angeles, Rick’s In & Out in Wilmington, and Cemitas Poblanas in Boyle Heights.


Of the allocated $600,000, there is still a lot of funding remaining. Applicants can go to: and click on the Reusable Foodware Microgrant page. Applications will be accepted through April 2024 or until funds are exhausted. Microgrant applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis.

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