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How does 412 Food Rescue work?
Can I receive food from 412 Food Rescue?
How can someone volunteer for 412 Food Rescue?
I hosted an event with catered / prepared food and there are leftovers! How can I donate them?
Do you have a nutrition policy?
How is it different from other hunger programs?
What about liability?
What about food safety?
Are donations tax deductable?

How does 412 Food Rescue work?

412 Food Rescue works with local food businesses and retailers (grocery stores, restaurants, wholesalers, farmer’s markets, etc) by rescuing their surplus food and transporting it directly to nonprofit and community based organizations (shelters, family support centers, housing authority sites, etc) where the food is provided to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity.

Our volunteers, also known as Food Rescue Heroes, are at the core of 412 Food Rescue’s success.

Can I receive food from 412 Food Rescue?

We do not provide food to individuals, only organizations. Please check BigBurgh for a list of resources in your area.

How can someone volunteer for 412 Food Rescue?

There are multiple ways someone can volunteer with 412 Food Rescue!

  1. Pop-up food rescues: When someone downloads and registers on our Food Rescue Hero app (iOS and Android), they can receive pop-up notifications and specific instruction for available real-time rescue opportunities.
  2. Regular food rescues: Heroes can commit to a scheduled rescue(s) each week between designated food donors and nonprofit partners. Rescues occur on the same day around the same time each week.
  3. Event and outreach support: Heroes can assist with hands-on event support (fundraisers, happy hours, etc) or external volunteer initiatives (serve as an ambassador, table at community events, etc).
  4. Administrative support: As a growing nonprofit, we gladly accept assistance in our office. Tasks vary from working with data to stuffing swag bags.
  5. Hidden Harvest gleaning: Heroes harvest fruit and crops from city trees, backyards, and farms that would have gone to waste or are no longer sellable.
  6. Cooking Matters Food Education: Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters program is a nationally recognized food education curriculum for adults. Heroes can train to become cooking and/or nutrition instructors and lead classes at our nonprofit partner sites.

If you do not have the capacity to volunteer your time, you can also support 412 Food Rescue by attending our community events, purchasing our products, and / or contributing financially to support our work! Have more questions? Email us at

How can I donate food to 412 Food Rescue?

Due to food safety requirements, 412 Food Rescue cannot accept food produced by an individual or provide food directly to individuals. All food donations must be produced in a commercial, ServSafe certified kitchen and cannot have been set out (i.e. on a buffet) or unwrapped / uncovered. If you have a possible food donation that meets these requirements, please call 412-277-3831.

Once we determine if we can accept the donation, we will match the donation with an appropriate nonprofit partner.

I hosted an event with catered / prepared food and there are leftovers! How can I donate them?

Has this event taken place? Please see the response in the above question to make sure you can donate the food from the event!

If this event has not already occurred and you are hoping to pre-arrange a food pickup from your event, please call us at 412-277-3831 to share a few more details about the food you anticipate you will donate.

Do you have a nutrition policy?

We do not accept soda, candy, or sugary cakes and cookies as stand alone donation.

How is it different from other hunger programs?

412 Food Rescue complements food banks, pantries and other hunger organizations.

We assure that no amount of food gets wasted.

We work with retail and consumer-facing food businesses. Most of our rescues concentrate on the “long tail”—smaller quantities that represent the daily churn of food operations. Most of these donations can fit in cars.

We rescue highly perishable food.

Food approaching sell by and expiration dates that require immediate response and direct transfer to organizations who can use them right away.

We respond to our donors’ sensitive time frames.

412 Food Rescue mobilizes volunteers to pick up planned and ad hoc rescues – within the time the donor needs the food to be picked up.

We go where the consumers are located.

412 Food Rescue not only provides food in food deserts but also in transportation deserts. We work with organizations whose mission may not be to address hunger but serve individuals and families who are food insecure—such as housing projects and shelters. We remove the barrier of transportation and bring the food to those who are in need, where they are.

We work with our nonprofit partners to ensure full utilization of the food they receive.

412 Food Rescue works with organizations to ensure that they only receive food that they need.

We directly transfer food.

412 Food Rescue does not bank food.

We advocate and educate on the impact of food waste on hunger and the environment from the farm to the home.

What about liability?

Food donations are protected by federal law. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act was passed in 1996 and protects everyone in the food donation cycle, except in cases of gross negligence.

What about food safety?

At 412 Food Rescue, food safety is our number one concern. All of our operations staff are ServSafe certified. Our donors are all food retailers that observe the highest levels of food safety practices in their establishments. All of our volunteers undergo an innovative mobile food safety training program developed by Affective Computing Company focused on food transport.

Are donations tax deductible?

YES! At the end of each year, our donors receive a report on their donations which includes information required to receive tax incentives including the full benefits provided by the PATH Act.