Food Finders is a food rescue nonprofit organization with a primary focus of reducing hunger while also reducing food waste. We coordinate the daily pick-up of donated excess food from grocers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, manufacturers and more; food is then distributed directly and immediately to nonprofit recipients, such as pantries, shelters, youth programs and senior centers, to be used for serving hot meals or as grocery distribution for people who are struggling and food insecure.
Our Food Rescue program ensures millions of pounds of wholesome food helps feed people, not landfills. Operating from a single headquarters in Orange County, California, we serve multiple counties within Southern California. By engaging a huge network of volunteers, we’re able to quickly scale and rescue enough food for 30,000 meals per day.


Food Finders’ Mission:
• Eliminate Hunger
• Eliminate Food Waste
• Improve Nutrition in food-insecure communities

We envision a community with zero hunger and zero food waste
We strive to make a positive impact on our community, the policies that govern it, and the environment we live in.
We go above and beyond our duty to address the evolving needs of those we serve and take our responsibility seriously in addressing the root causes of hunger and food waste.
We pride ourselves on doing what is right and providing transparency, while being a collaborative partner that is open to other perspectives and opinions.

Food Finders values community, responsibility, and integrity.


Founded in 1989, Food Finders is a testament to how one person can make a difference! Founder Arlene Mercer started Food Finders from her kitchen table and initially engaged just a few volunteers to help organize the delivery of donated restaurant overages that were otherwise being tossed away, ensuring it was used to feed people at a local shelter. This effort, combined with some donor education on the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and California Health Code propelled the organization to become an authority on food recovery before anyone really knew what food recovery was! By the time she retired in 2011, the organization was well on its way to being the largest food rescue nonprofit within California.


These four core values shine through every aspect of our organization from operations and fund development, to our own programs and the partners involved with each.


We acknowledge that working with our community of food donors, volunteers, and partner agencies makes us a better organization. The key for us is everyone internally and externally believes in using their time, efforts, and capabilities to help feed those in need.


We understand we have a societal and environmental responsibility. This is reflected by our efforts to reduce waste, rescue food, feed people, and support policies that address the roots of inequitable access to nutritious food and the cause of food waste in this country.


Food Finders places high importance on being an organization that adapts to the world around us. We are always learning, listening, and open to change so that we may best serve our community.


To have integrity is to do what we say we will do. We refuse to jeopardize our ethical and moral standards when difficult situations arise and when less ethical opportunities are presented. This will always apply to the work we do, the people we partner with, and the community we serve.








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