How To Have The Best Impact as a 412 Food Rescue Volunteer

By February 27, 2023January 22nd, 2024FAQs

Using the 412 Food Rescue app effectively:

Once you start completing food rescues with the 412 Food Rescue app, we want to ensure you’re aware of all the app’s steps, features, and what overall importance they hold. Our goal is that you, our volunteers, have the most informed and seamless experience possible. 

There are a few steps in the app food rescue process that really solidify the impact our volunteers have:


Map View

Open up the 412 Food Rescue app.

The map view should immediately come into view, where you can preview current food rescues to claim.

Preview a route

Special Instructions - Rescue Details

This button provides specific information about your food rescue, such as the food donor or recipient details & contact information.

Calling Ahead – under Special Instructions will be the contact information of the food donor & recipient you’re picking up from and dropping off to. Some require you to call when on your way, so their staff are ready for you.

Quantities of food from donor

It is very important to be picking up the correct amount of food noted in the app from the food donor, for multiple reasons: 

  • Some food donors may have more food that is split up & set aside for other food rescues (going to other recipients than yours), so taking more than your listed quantities could cause another Food Rescue Hero to show up for their food rescue with nothing to pick up.
  • Our recipient nonprofit partners let us know how much food they’re able to use. If you arrive with more than this, the food could wind up going to waste!

Please be sure to check the amounts listed in the app, and only take those quantities.

Note quantities of food you picked up when prompted

While the app will prompt you to check you’re picking up the correct quantities of food set aside from the donor, it will also have you double check when you’re dropping off as well. In both instances, if the donor has less for you to pick up than originally allotted, please use the +/- buttons to reflect that in the app.

  • We rely on our volunteers to update and report accurate weights during their food rescues, which allows us to more accurately track the food being delivered.
  • Using this (hopefully) accurate information is how we calculate our impact, raise awareness, and secure grant money to grow our impact in Pittsburgh!

Dispatch is here to help

Any questions or support you need during your food rescue, our trained dispatch team can be reached in the app by calling/texting 412-277-3831. A member of our team will talk you through any questions or issues you run into, and be able to reach out to the food donor and/or nonprofit recipient in the event of any hiccups.

Food has been dropped off - complete your rescue ✅

Take a photo or selfie with your rescue
These photos let our marketing team share the incredible impact of volunteers, like you, who complete food rescues. We want to get as many people involved in rescuing food as possible, so snapping a quick photo with your phone of the fresh produce in your trunk, a selfie carrying the food to the car, or even handing it to the recipient – goes a long way.

Rate the rescue
We want to know any notable moments during your rescue, whether that be a heartwarming story of dropping off the food, or a speed bump you encountered that we could work on to make your experience smoother next time. Let us know!

Mark complete! Even though you’ve already done the proverbial heavy lifting, this step is important! Since our app tracks every step of your food rescue in real-time, leaving a food rescue “uncompleted” at the end causes a couple issues for our team:

    1. A dispatch team member has to track down several people to confirm the rescue was completed
    2. We won’t have accurate report times for how long your rescue took to complete

So while you may know exactly where you’re going and how to complete a weekly food rescue, we still need you to do the steps through the app!

Share with your friends on social media!
One of the best ways to share how easy & rewarding it is to directly help community members is by sharing your rescue with your friends! Screen record the “Completed Rescue” screen, add a selfie, and tell people how they can get involved!

They can download the 412 Food Rescue app here:

We want you, our amazing volunteers, to be informed and feel comfortable using the 412 Food Rescue app. We also want you to have the best experience possible when saving food and redirecting it to neighbors in need.

With your help we can streamline this innovative process even further by bringing light to questions and solutions that will grow into a more meaningful impact on the Pittsburgh community for years to come.