Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q: Are you a food pantry? I am looking for food resources for myself and/or my family.

A: We are not. Loaves & Fishes rescued nearly 2.5M pounds of surplus food last year in Greenville and delivered it, for free, to our 107+ partner agencies, same day. We do not store any food at our headquarters. All food resources in Greenville County are listed here.

Click here: https://foodfinder.us/to access the national food finder website—a popular web database that many of our peers across the US utilize. You can also dial 211 anytime to receive emergency assistance for food, rent, utilities and more.


Q: What is a food rescue organization?

A: Food rescue is a unique way of addressing the issues of hunger and food waste in a community. Loaves & Fishes – Greenville’s only comprehensive food rescue organization – rescues food from grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, farms, and other institutional feeders that would otherwise end up in our landfills and delivers it to over 107 partner agencies that feed the hungry and food-insecure in Greenville County.


Q: What is the difference between a food bank, a food pantry and a food rescue organization?

A: A food bank, like Greenville’s Harvest Hope, provides food to agencies that feed the hungry for a small membership fee, and serve individuals directly. A food pantry like United Ministries in Greenville provides food directly to individuals in need, for free. A food rescue organization collects food and delivers it to the agencies that feed the hungry. Loaves & Fishes does not charge a fee to the agencies it serves.


Q: How can I donate surplus food from my business?

A: Contact us! Email Director of Operations, Nathaniel McCrary to get started today. nathaniel@loavesandfishesgreenville.org

We can arrange a pick-up schedule that suits your inventory and timing needs and would love the opportunity to speak with you about a partnership to reduce food waste at your organization.


Q: I would like to volunteer to be a rescue route driver. How do I get started?

A: Visit our website and submit the volunteer application online. Our volunteer coordinator will reach out to you to arrange a volunteer orientation. Learn more about becoming a rescue route volunteer: https://loavesandfishesgreenville.com/volunteer-3/


Q: How do I make a gift to Loaves & Fishes?

A: Click here: https://bit.ly/3b6rLpb to make a gift to Loaves & Fishes today! Thanks to our modern, hybrid model, each of your dollars is transformed into $10 worth of rescued food, and makes an immediate impact on reducing hunger in Greenville.


Q: Can I donate food to Loaves & Fishes from my home pantry?

A: YES! We happily accept your unopened, unexpired, nonperishable, or canned foods. Food donations are accepted M-Thu, 9am to 4pm, or Fri 9am to 3pm. We do not have refrigerators or freezers on site and are unable to accept chilled foods or other prepared foods on site.


Q: I represent a local nonprofit that would like to receive donated food deliveries. How do we get started?

A: Contact Nathaniel McCrary to get your application started today. nathaniel@loavesandfishesgreenville.org


Q: What is food rescue?

A: Food Rescue is a direct response to the disconnect between food waste, hunger, and environmental sustainability. We waste up to 40% of our food globally. That translates to over 1.3 billion tons annually and means food is the #1 material in landfills.

This shouldn’t happen while 1 in 5 people go hungry every day in the US. According to the United Nations, if we recover all the food that is lost or wasted, we will have enough to feed all those who are hungry, four times over.


Q: Where is food rescued from?

A: Food waste happens in our food chain all over the world—while millions go hungry. Millions of pounds of food is wasted in hundreds of thousands of food retail, and food preparation locations across the country. We rescue food from restaurants, caterers, farmers, grocery stores, grocery distributors, specialty food retailers, and so much more.

Food donors contact us and arrange pick-ups with our volunteers or fleet, pending on the size and nature of the food being rescued. Our volunteers and drivers are trained in safe food handling.


Q:  Where does rescued food go?

A: Food Rescue complements food banks, food pantries, and other hunger organizations by using trucks and volunteers to rescue and deliver highly perishable food, 7 days a week. Rescued food is picked-up by our fleet or volunteer and delivered to its destination the same day, typically.

We do not store or bank food but, rather, directly transfer surplus food from source to an organization that needs it. Our trucks hit the road early in the morning and come back to our headquarters empty each day.


Q: Doesn’t the SNAP program (aka food stamps) provide the food that hungry people need?

A: The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to supplement the food budget for those in need – not replace it. With recent cuts to the SNAP program, a family of four can only receive a little less than $1.40 per meal per person daily to supplement what they can afford. Unfortunately, this often leaves families with a choice of whether to have three meals a day or pay their household bills. That is where the agencies to whom Loaves & Fishes provides food come in. When a family can receive food for free or for a discounted price, they can afford to purchase gas to go to work or pay their utility bills.

We currently partner with over 107 agencies. They include:

Single meal providers, such as soup kitchens and breakfast programs

Nonprofit child care and after school/summer programs

Shelters and group homes

Senior programs

Community centers

Low income housing for seniors and disabled citizens

Therapeutic programs supporting special populations