How does 412 Food Rescue work?

412 Food Rescue works with local food businesses and retailers (i.e. grocery stores, restaurants, wholesalers, farmer’s markets, etc) by rescuing their surplus food and transporting it to nonprofit and community based organizations (i.e. 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.

How can someone volunteer for 412 Food Rescue?

The quickest way to volunteer is to download and register on our Food Rescue Hero app (available for both iOS and Android).

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.