Leading Food Rescue Organizations Join Forces

By September 4, 2019August 4th, 2022Media

Leading Food Rescue Organizations Join Forces

Food Rescue Hero and Food Donation Connection – boasting, respectively, the largest network of food recovery drivers and the largest global network of donor restaurants – will collaborate to keep good food out of landfills.

Pittsburgh, PENNSYLVANIA (September 3, 2019) — Two major players in food rescue are joining forces to scale operations and respond to the disconnect between the fact that we waste 40% of our food while 1 in 7 are hungry. Since 2016, Food Rescue Hero, a spin off of 412 Food Rescue, has mobilized an app-coordinated network of volunteers to redirect surplus food to those who need it. Now the Pittsburgh startup is partnering with Food Donation Connection, a 28-year global pioneer in food recovery, to amplify the impact of both organizations.

The Food Rescue Hero app enables volunteers to transport fresh, perishable surplus food from grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers directly to organizations that serve food-insecure populations. Over 12,000 people have downloaded the app. 

Since its launch, Food Rescue Hero has rescued over seven million pounds of good food in its home base of Pittsburgh, Pa. Now the organization is partnering with fellow nonprofits to drive and scale food rescue in other cities. The network has recently expanded to include San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland and northern Virginia, with plans for partnerships in 100 cities by 2030. 

Boosting these efforts will be Food Rescue Hero’s new collaboration with Food Donation Connection.

Founded in 1992, Food Donation Connection has been tackling food waste since long before it became the hot topic it is today. Over its almost three decades in operation, the organization has worked in 24 countries and has recovered over 550 million pounds of food from more than 18,000 of the world’s largest restaurants and food retailers, including Whole Foods and Darden restaurant group.

Now these two powerhouse organizations will be collaborating to integrate their food recovery technology into an end-to-end platform. 

“Food Donation Connection has a strong network of longstanding relationships and a well-established platform for food donors, enabling them to track donations and fully utilize available tax benefits,” says Leah Lizarondo, CEO and co-founder of Food Rescue Hero. “Meanwhile, Food Rescue Hero has a strong community engagement model and last-mile delivery technology. Combining these strengths will super-power our impact.”

“Through this collaboration, we can increase efficiency throughout the entire process of food rescue and make it easier and more appealing for participants at every step,” says Food Donation Connection President Bill Reighard. “Together, we can create more opportunities for donors, volunteers and recipients. And that means less food waste and less hunger.”

Lizarondo adds, “There’s a tremendous will to alleviate the problems of food waste and hunger right now. Both of our organizations share a strong commitment to realizing the potential of food surplus to end hunger. The processes and technology we have created are with that end in mind. We are only scratching the surface of the potential for food recovery to impact hunger — our two organizations working together will create tremendous change we have not seen in decades.”




About Food Rescue Hero: Food Rescue Hero is a food recovery and redistribution platform that helps food recovery and hunger organizations launch and scale food recovery. In the United States, 40 percent of food produced is wasted while one in seven people goes hungry. Focusing on the logistical challenges of retail food recovery, Food Rescue Hero addresses both problems through technology-coordinated, community-powered networks. Through the app, volunteer drivers are alerted when surplus food is available to be picked up near them. Since its launch in 2016, the app has redirected more than seven million pounds of perfectly good food from landfills to the people who need it. Food Rescue Hero is based in Pittsburgh and now measurably impacts food insecurity in Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Northern Virginia, and soon, Los Angeles. In support of SDG 12, 2 and 13, its goal is to enable scaled food recovery in 100 cities by 2030.

About Food Donation Connection: Since 1992, Food Donation Connection has assisted food service companies with the development and implementation of Harvest Programs that provide an alternative to discarding surplus food. FDC has coordinated the donation of over 550 million pounds of quality prepared food from food service providers located in 24 countries to more than 10,000 hunger relief organizations. FDC team members have experience with major restaurant chains and retailers in operations and food quality, and the entire full-time staff is ServSafe® certified in food safety.