Should it be Called Food Waste, Food Rescue, or Food Recovery?

For almost 30 years, the volunteers of Food Runners have been picking up excess food in San Francisco and serving it to people in need. Currently, the issue of rescuing excess food is a hot topic. At least 40 percent of the food grown and produced in this country is discarded; some estimates are as high as 50 percent. It is also said that 25 percent of California’s water goes to grow food that is wasted. Now there is a movement to rescue what is called “ugly fruit” and secondary markets being created to market imperfect produce. Check out

It is generally assumed that Food Runners picks up mostly at restaurants in San Francisco; however, a well-run restaurant usually doesn’t have much waste. In San Francisco, most restaurants cook to order and then order from their purveyor only what they need. The bigger opportunity with Food Runners exists with hotels and caterers. Food Runners can pick up uneaten box lunches from conferences and other hotel events. It is important to note, that ALL food served at a buffet, whether it is in a hotel, corporate cafeteria, or an event venue, can be donated. The new trend of delivered meals to offices and homes has also resulted in hundreds of ready-to-eat meals being delivered through Food Runners.

With all this attention on Food Waste, Food Rescue, and Food Recovery, you can help by spreading the word about Food Runners to any business in San Francisco to pick up their excess food. All they have to do is package, chill it if necessary, and contact Food Runners. Someone will be there within a couple of hours to take it to where it can best be used. People are often concerned with liability, but the donor is protected by both State and Federal laws. When 50 million Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from, there is no excuse not to donate edible food. For more information, please call 415.929.1866.

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