Every year, thousands of runners from across the country flock to Pittsburgh to participate in the city’s iconic Pittsburgh Marathon. But for some, the race is about much more than just crossing the finish line—it’s about running with purpose, running for a reason.

Since 2015, 412 Food Rescue has been a proud participant in the Run For A Reason Program. Our Marathon Heroes have raised over $120,000 to support our mission of redirecting good food to those who need it most. This year, our goal is to raise $20,000—a significant amount of our funding needs for food recovery and distribution operations.

Achieving a goal of $20,000 enables the 412 Food Rescue network to rescue approximately 71,000 pounds of food. That’s the equivalent of nearly 60,000 nutritious meals for the 1 in 5 Pittsburghers experiencing food insecurity, and mitigates 194,000 pounds of CO2 emissions in the process. That’s a substantial impact on food waste and hunger in our community—running towards a better future, one meal and one stride at a time!

Why Run For A Reason?

People join the Run For A Reason Program for a multitude of reasons. For some, it’s about achieving personal fitness goals while supporting a meaningful cause. For others, it’s a way to honor loved ones or overcome personal challenges. And for many, it’s the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves—to contribute to a cause that resonates deeply with their values and beliefs.

An added perk? Running for FREE! Charity Runners are eligible for a refund on their registration fee (essentially earning a FREE registration!). To receive a refund, just raise the fundraising minimum for your event by May 31, 2024.

Here is what some current and past runners say what motivates them to Run For A Reason with 412 Food Rescue:

"Every year I look forward to the Pittsburgh Half Marathon because I get to take part in the Run for a Reason Charity Team for 412 Food Rescue! 412 Food Rescue does amazing work for the community by preventing perfectly good food from reaching the landfills and getting redirected to those experiencing food insecurity! I'm excited to be able to connect with 412 Food Rescue again and support their fundraising goals of reaching $20,000 to support our efforts to end food waste and hunger in the Pittsburgh region. My personal goal is to raise $1,000 before May 5th and I could use any support!"

Becca Simon

“I've run the marathon the past 10 years, but running for 412 Food Rescue gave me a new motivation to run the marathon for something I care about.”

Matt Saut

"I finally decided to run my first half marathon and, to put it simply, I want to run for a good cause. 412 Food Rescue is doing amazing things for this community and for our planet. Please consider donating to this awesome organization!"


"This will be my 4th half-marathon and my first time running as a Run for a Reason Charity Runner. My goal is to raise $800 for 412 Food Rescue (and to maybe make another PR!)

Please consider making a donation - 412 Food Rescue’s mission is to prevent perfectly good food from entering the waste stream by redirecting it to households in poverty and nonprofit organizations serving those who are experiencing food insecurity. Thanks for your support!”

Jessica Schaefer

“It's been years since I've participated in a race, so what better way to dive back in with my favorite marathon, in my favorite city, supporting an organization that I feel is so important and impactful? I've always run to support incredible causes, and this year, I'm running to raise money for 412 Food Rescue, because I believe nobody should have to go hungry.”


Opportunities to Get Involved

1) Join the Marathon Heroes

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-time runner, there’s a place for you on our team. During registration for your race of choice, opt to join the Run for a Reason Charity Program and select 412 Food Rescue as the charity you’d like to run for. Once registered, you’ll get a unique fundraising profile to customize, share with friends and family, and track your fundraising progress. The team at 412 Food Rescue is here to help your fundraising journey with tips and tricks, social support, free swag, and more.

Join 412 Food Rescue's Marathon Team

2) Support the Marathon Heroes

Can’t participate in the marathon but still want to show your support? You can contribute to the cause by donating to our Run For A Reason team. Your generous contributions help fund our efforts to rescue surplus food and deliver it to those in need across the Pittsburgh area.

Donate to support this year's Marathon Heroes

3) Sign Up to Volunteer

Volunteers play a crucial role in making the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend a success. Whether you’re interested in lending a hand at the expo or cheering on runners on race day, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved:

  • Tabling at the Expo: Join us at the marathon expo to help spread the word about 412 Food Rescue and recruit new team members. It’s a great way to engage with the community and raise awareness about our cause.
    Friday, May 3 from 10am-8pm
    Saturday, May 4 from 9am – 5pm
  • Race Day Support: On race day, volunteers are needed to assist with various tasks, such as handing out water, directing runners, and cheering them on along the course. Your enthusiasm and support will help keep our runners motivated as they tackle the marathon.
Volunteer during race weekend!

NEW this year!

Champions Mile
A Celebration of Charities
9:00 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

This event is a celebration of inclusion filled with joy and bravery that supports families and friends who live with disabilities. Supporters and participants of all abilities will run, walk, stroll through the streets of Pittsburgh before finishing under the iconic DICK’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon finish line. $10 from every registration will benefit the 43 official charities of the Run for a Reason Charity Program presented by Key Bank. Register today!

To learn more about 412 Food Rescue’s Run For A Reason program and how you can get involved, visit 412foodrescue.org/pittsburgh-marathon or contact DanielleDeWitt@412foodrescue.org.


Duolingo proudly continues its role as the Lead Sponsor for the 412 Food Rescue Marathon Heroes for the second consecutive year, demonstrating their unwavering dedication to the community and its well-being. Headquartered right here in Pittsburgh, Duolingo is making language learning a bridge to opportunity for millions around the world and is committed to supporting local communities.

Thank you, Duolingo! 

Join Duolingo! Become a sponsor of 412 Food Rescue’s 2024 Marathon Heroes and showcase your role as an ally and leader in supporting local efforts to mitigate food waste and tackle food insecurity.

Support the work of 412 Food Rescue

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Donate to 412 Food Rescue