Why a Food Rescue Conference?

Food recovery is a complex but highly effective way to address multiple systemic problems by reinventing a local food system. We hear lots of conversations about why food rescue, but precious few about how. There are a multitude of unique challenges and opportunities presented when scaling food recovery, since time is of the essence when diverting perishable food from getting wasted. Nearly as important, the food needs to be paired uniquely with people who can use it right away.

This conference brings together the people on the ground doing the work every day to hear from experts talking about trends, topics and issues uniquely relevant to food recovery. A Food Rescue Conference gives stakeholders an opportunity to share ideas and create community, connections and foster collaboration.

Our model of food recovery and redistribution not only enables access to healthy food, but it allows us to bring food to where people already are – overcoming barriers to food access like transportation and time. 87% of the food recovered is: produce, meat, dairy, bread, and more.

Food recovery contributes to upcycling, like creating beer, smoothies or meals from surplus food, and distributing “unsellable” produce in CSA programs.

Zero Waste and Zero Hunger initiatives uniquely benefit from food recovery activities as well, which attracts a broad array of stakeholders, activism and policy change makers to the table to discuss the future of food rescue.

While the 2023 Food Rescue Conference is virtual, we hope in the future to be able to bring together the food recovery community in person to learn from each other and continue to grow the transformative work we are all doing!

Why Food Rescue?

Rescuing food about to get thrown away uniquely addresses the disconnect between food waste, hunger, and environmental sustainability. According to the United Nations, if we recovered all the food that is lost or wasted, we would have enough to feed all those who are hungry, four times over.

That’s because we waste a lot of food – up to 40% of our food globally, while 1 in 7 people go hungry every day. Even worse, food waste is an environmental problem. Food production uses 10% of the energy budget, 50% of the land and 80% of all freshwater consumed in the United States. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 97% of food waste generated ends up in a landfill.

What’s unique about food recovery?
Food recovery organizations partner with food retailers, volunteer drivers, and nonprofit organizations to connect surplus food with individuals and families who are experiencing food insecurity. Thousands of volunteers rescue perfectly good but unsellable food that would otherwise be wasted and deliver it to people who need it.

Our food donors range from grocery stores, wholesalers, caterers, and everything in between.

Our nonprofit partners include housing authorities, daycare centers, churches, community centers, and more.