Food Rescue US

The simple solution to ending local hunger

Food Rescue US (formerly Community Plates) is a non-profit we started a few years ago to end American food insecurity by directly transferring fresh, usable food that would have otherwise been thrown away from restaurants, markets and other food industry sources to food-insecure families throughout the U.S.

To date, Food Rescue US is in nine cities in the US and our volunteers rescued 22 million pounds of fresh food for their communities in the last five years. Our goals is to eliminate food insecurity in the US. 

To volunteer your time or to identify a need in your community, visit 

http://foodrescue.us/getinvolved/

How does Food Rescue US work?

We originally developed an app on our Peach Platform to make it simple for volunteers to rescue the food by handling the logistics. We even received the The Computerworld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Award for the category Human Services at a June 3, 2013 ceremony in Washington, DC.

The Food Rescue US Founding Story

By Jeff Schacher, founder of PeachWorks and Food Rescue US

A few years ago I was sitting around one morning and thinking about how we give. People from all walks of life give regularly to their favorite causes, but what about companies, do they give?

I started a cloud-based software company several years ago called WhenToManage (now called PeachWorks); in a nutshell, we give restaurant operators a simple way to manage their labor, inventory and reporting. We are a small and quickly growing company and I thought we should start giving something; every little bit helps, right?

What to give? Well, we could give money, that's the obvious choice. What about our time? Maybe we could offer web development services to a charity a few days a month. What about our talent? What are we good at? It just so happens that our company is very good at taking complicated tasks and building web applications to make them much simpler. That's what we do for restaurants. Could we use that talent for some good cause?

1 in 6 Americans don't know where their next meal will come from

Since restaurants are what we know, I started there. I know restaurants throw away a lot of food. A lot. Maybe we could save that food from getting wasted and get it to people that are hungry. So I started to dig deeper. Are there hungry people in the U.S.? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Food insecurity is a real problem in parts of the U.S. Many families don't have a good idea where their next meal is coming from. Some people go to work every day and by the time they pay for the roof over their head, their heat and electricity, there isn't always enough money left for food that week. So we definitely have people in need of that resource; what about the other side?

Would restaurants be willing to do it? I believe that most people are genuinely good and are happy to help their fellow man, but life is hectic. We don't have enough hours in the day to take care of ourselves, yet alone give to someone else. After the earthquake in Haiti, fundraising for disaster relief seemed to be successful because all someone had to do was type five numbers into their cell phone and they donated. It was simple. If we could make it that simple for restaurants to participate, how could they say "no"?

I pitched the idea to my team. They were on board and someone rather quickly came up with the name "Community Plates." We started calling some restaurant operators and some support agencies and there was definitely food to save and definitely people that needed it. Now the only question left was "can we make the process simple enough for everyone?" and we did.

To date we are in nine cities in the US and our volunteers have rescued 22 million pounds of food for their communities in in the last five years. 

Visit the Food Rescue US website