Food Rescue

Working 363 days a year, our volunteers make 130 Scheduled Rescues every week from more than 35 locations, delivering between 4,000 and 7,000 pounds of baked goods, meat, produce, eggs and dairy, cooked foods, and drinks to our building every day by 10 a.m.  

For these Scheduled Rescues, one or more of our 250 volunteers show up at the appointed time to collect and transport the food to our facility. Most use their own vehicles to rescue from stores like Publix and Trader Joe’s, restaurants like Chick-fil-A and 4Rivers Smokehouse, coffee shops like Panera and Starbucks, and even from the Jaguars dining hall.

Other volunteers use our only box truck to rescue the larger donations from Pepperidge Farms, Bimbo Bakeries, and Local Fare as well as from Dr. Pepper/Snapple and Pepsi Beverage Company. 

In addition to Scheduled Rescues we also respond to unexpected opportunities to fight hunger and poverty in our community, rescuing 2,300 pounds of minute rice after the marathon, or 425 cases of eggs destined for a canceled event, for example.

Occasionally, our volunteers also help unload food from 18-wheelers. When long-haul truckers with refused food that is still perfectly good call Waste Not for help, we spring into action.  We put out the call for volunteers and recipient organizations to meet at the truck where we transfer the food directly into recipients’ vehicles.  Our largest off-the truck rescue to date was 20,000 pounds of potatoes, one 10-pound bag at a time, in less than three hours.

Known by vendors as responsive, Waste Not Want Not is often called when other charities fail to show up to rescue food as scheduled. Mission-driven, our volunteers willingly take on these last-minute rescues. Last year, just by responding when other charities were closed for the holidays or couldn’t find a driver, Waste Not prevented the discarding of 12,000 pounds of food.

Ready to volunteer? Curious about how you can help rescue food?  Learn more on our volunteer page. We’d love to have you on our team!

Have food to donate?  See if and how we can put it to good use. Learn more on our How to Safely Donate Food page.

Know of food going to waste? Waste Not Want Not would love to know about it and rescue it if possible. Please contact us:  

Rescuing food daily
A volunteer ready to rescue one day's donation from a single store.
Volunteers unloading our truck.
Volunteers use our truck to rescue towers of bread pallets of drinks.
Serendipitous opportunity: 425 cases of eggs.