If we reduced food waste by 15%, we could feed 25 million people. With 49 million people living with food insecurity in this country, we should be making every effort to get food to our neighbors before it’s wasted.
One way that we can get more food to people in need is by supporting food rescue organizations. These small, mostly volunteer-run groups fill an important gap in the food recovery process. They handle the logistics of getting food that is still edible, but not saleable, from grocery stores, restaurants, events or dining facilities to the food banks, pantries and soup kitchens that distribute food.
To help simplify and strengthen the food donation process, we have just launched the Food Rescue Locator in collaboration with our partners at EndFoodWaste.org and the Food Rescue Alliance. This free online tool allows anyone with excess food (individuals, offices, events, restaurants, you name it!) to find a nearby group they can donate to.
While there are several large databases and directories for food banks, community dining rooms, food pantries, and the like, until now there has been no directory of food rescue groups. That means, if you had a small quantity of extra food that you would like to donate, you were likely out of luck if you didn’t have an existing connection.
How It Works
Simply type in your ZIP code and the Food Rescue Locator will pull up any food rescue organizations in your area, along with the information you need to make sure you can connect with and confirm they are right for your donation needs.
The information gathered through the Locator will be used to track the growth of the food rescue movement. The US EPA is hoping to integrate the data into their mapping efforts, too. And the best part? The Locator is free to those who submit listings and those who use it to find food rescue groups. If you work or volunteer for a food rescue organization, you can fill out this form to be listed in the Food Rescue Locator.