What We Do

We prevent perfectly good food from entering the waste stream by redirecting it to those who are experiencing food insecurity.

Thanks to thousands of volunteer drivers — our Food Rescue Heroes —  we’re able to recover and redistribute perfectly healthy food directly to people who need it.

Why We Do It

412 Food Rescue was founded as a direct response to the disconnect between food waste, hunger, and environmental sustainability. We waste up to 40% of our food globally (translating to over 1.3 billion tons annually), while 1 in 7 people go hungry every day. According to ReFed, if we recovered about half (46 billion pounds) of the food being wasted, we could feed every hungry person in the United States 3 meals a day, every day.

Not to mention, food waste is an environmental problem. Food production uses 10% of the energy budget, 50% of the land and 80% of all freshwater consumed in the United States. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 97% of food waste generated ends up in a landfill.

We believe that:

Good food belongs to people, not landfills.

Up to 40% of food that is produced is wasted.

Everyone has a right to healthy food.

1 in 7 people goes hungry every day.

Climate change requires urgent action.

97% of food waste ends up in landfills, generating a large portion of U.S. methane emissions.

How it works:

We partner with food retailers, volunteer drivers, and nonprofit organizations to connect surplus food with individuals and families who are experiencing food insecurity. Our intuitive app guides thousands of volunteers who we call Food Rescue Heroes, to rescue perfectly good but unsellable food that would otherwise be wasted and redirect it to people who need it.

Our food donor partners range from grocery stores, wholesalers, caterers, and everything in between. Our nonprofit partners include housing authorities, daycare centers, churches, community centers, and more.

Our model of food recovery and redistribution not only enables access to healthy food, but gets food to where people already are – overcoming barriers like transportation and time. 87% of the food we rescue is fresh food; primarily produce, meat, dairy, bread, and more.

While food rescue is the core element of our work, we do many other things to address food waste and hunger in our region, like creating meals from surplus food, equipping people with better cooking skills, creating innovative products from food waste, and distributing “unsellable” produce in a CSA program.

Join Us

Our huge community of over 20,000 volunteers has recovered over 21 million pounds of food, as of June, 2022, all coordinated through the 412 Food Rescue app.

412 Food Rescue is one of 14 food recovery organizations in North America currently using the Food Rescue Hero platform to streamline operations. This Food Rescue Hero Network has recovered 100 million pounds of food, as of July, 2022 and aims to grow into 100 cities by 2030.

Do you own or work for a retailer that has surplus food to offer? Our donor partners range from large food distributors to small mom-and-pop stores, restaurant chains, urban farms and even other nonprofits!

Our volunteers are our personal heroes. The 412 Food Rescue app, makes it easy and fun to volunteer as much or as little as you’d like: claim a weekly rescue that allows you to volunteer every week at the same time; Or, claim one-time rescues whenever convenient. Each food rescue takes about 30 minutes.