How We Work

Food rescue is the practice of collecting local, edible, but surplus or unsold food that would otherwise go to waste and instead re-distribute it to local emergency food programs. It is the intersection of the two parallel worlds we’ve all become accustomed to living in, where both abundance and scarcity run right alongside each other. Unfortunately, without a convenient transport option it is easier and cheaper for most retailers to simply discard excess, unsold, mislabeled, or ugly foods. Due to its high perishability, much of the food that is rescued is fresh produce (42% in CY22).

Food rescue is a clever food intervention—targeted to salvage retail foods days before they reach the point of no return of becoming waste, and instead feeding those in need with it. This optimizes the food that is already available and reduces the damage to our environment, simultaneously.

Donors like restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, etc. contact us when they have surplus food.

Our drivers are deployed in refrigerated Loaves & Fishes trucks to rescue the food.

Hooray! Rescued food is delivered to partner agencies and into the hands of people who need it.

Our Impact

38% of all food in the United States goes to waste each year while millions of people go hungry. Loaves & Fishes works to change this contradiction.0


Pounds of Food

Donated Annually


Partner Agencies

Receiving Food

Our impact in numbers in 2023:


Dollars Charged

For Food & Delivery



Assisting in Our Mission


Food Donors




Able to be Fed

Who we serve breakdown
Donate Now!

Who Donates Food?

  • Loaves & Fishes receives donated food that would otherwise be wasted from restaurants, grocery stores, institutional feeders and caterers.

  • Additionally, food is received from local farms and gardens through gleaning and from canned food drives.

  • Many individuals donate food to Loaves & Fishes on a regular basis.


Learn how to donate food or host a canned food drive.

How We

  • Donated food is delivered by our full-time truck drivers and by rescue route volunteers. Volunteers typically rescue non-perishable items, while our trained drivers handle all perishables.

  • Our drivers are trained in food safety handling best practices and they receive quarterly training to refresh their skills. In addition, our refrigerated fleet is inspected annually by the Department of Agriculture.

  • Loaves & Fishes is unique in that we never store warehouse food — all rescued items are delivered the same day they are received.

Our Partner Agencies

Food is received by a contact at one of our many partner agencies, who then distributes it to the people in their community.

Partner agencies are required to be one of the following:

  • A 501(c)3 organization

  • A church*

  • A Section 8 certified apartment community

  • An established feeding program

* Or meet nine of the characteristics on the church qualifier form

All potential partners must have a physical address that is not a private residence. In addition, agencies are required to submit a monthly report, including demographic data which assists us to better meet the clients’ needs. To ensure compliance, Loaves & Fishes conducts annual – or more frequent – partner agency site visits. We assess changes in the feeding program and additions to their capacity and ensure the food is being properly utilized. Agencies must comply to continue receiving our free delivery.