Food Rescue Program
What do I need to know before I start donating food?
Food Finders will set up a meeting or call to discuss what food you will be donating, how often (daily/weekly/monthly), and what time is best for us to pick up. If you decide to donate regularly, we’ll also have you sign a donor agreement that ensures we know what’s expected of each other. This way you can also show your city office you are participating in a food recovery program.
What if I don’t know ahead of time what I can donate?
We can arrange a pick up within 24 hours normally, but we prefer to be notified in advance as much as possible when you think you have food overages.
What food handling measures are in place once I donate?
Food Finders staff have food handler’s certification as do all of the pantries and agencies we partner with that receive the food. For large donations, all of our vehicles are refrigerated. Volunteers are also trained on proper food handling practices, and food stays with them about the same time as it would take you or me to make a grocery trip, typically delivering within 5 miles to the designated recipient’s location.
How do I contain the food for donation?
We suggest using what you would normally use to store the food at your location. Food Finders can also provide disposable or re-useable containers as needed.
Is there a minimum donation you will take?
We generally take any amount of food available, since we serve a range of agency sizes, so even a single tray of pasta or sandwiches, for example, should never go to waste.
Will you provide me with a tax receipt?
Food Finders provides receipts monthly or annually as needed, which include the amount of food donated (pounds) and category of food. We do not assign a dollar value—that is up to your individual accountant.
What if someone gets ill from the food donated?
While we have never had a case of foodborne illness, Food Finders carries liability insurance and requires its recipient agencies to have proof of insurance as well. Our recipient agencies are responsible for safely storing and serving food, and part of our agreement is that they have proper refrigeration and cooking facilities as needed. As a food donor, as long as you donate properly contained, servable food, there should be no risk of liability. Learn more.
Can I request the pantry or shelter where my food is donated?
Yes, and we can coordinate that partnership for you, as long as the food you donate is what they need!
Food Finders App
How do I use the app?
Once you create an account on your phone by downloading our Food Finders application, from either Apple or Google, you will be able to look for and accept food donation pickups. There are two types; one time and weekly. One-time food rescues you may claim, complete, and be done! You will also see notifications for these pickups as they become available. Weekly rescues require a regular commitment to the same rescue on the same day and time every week. Once you claim and start a rescue, the app will guide you through the process.
What if directions, pickup timeframe or other information on the app is incorrect?
Please let us know if the special instructions are incorrect or the location is wrong. Google maps is generally accurate, but we can fix any discrepancies.
What if I can't do my weekly rescue?
If you are unable to do a food rescue, you will need to set up a substitute volunteer. On the app go into the “My Rescues” tab and find your particular rescue. Click the “Request sub” button. At least 24-hour notice is preferred.
What if I accept a rescue accidentally?
If you cannot do a rescue that you have accepted for any reason, simply click the “Request sub” button. It will return the rescue to the queue for available volunteers.
What if I don’t have a smartphone? How can I still participate?
Please speak with a Food Finders staff member to discuss your options. We will work with you to find a solution so you can stay involved.
What if I don’t want to receive notifications from the Food Finders App?
Without the notifications on, you might miss new rescue opportunities or miss the pickup for your rescue. However, you can still utilize the app to pick up weekly or one-time food donations. Reminders are sent 1 hour before the pickup to ensure you arrive on time. You can adjust when to receive notifications in the preferences section under your account.
What if my phone runs out of battery or freezes in the middle of a rescue?
If the app freezes due to bad reception, move to an area to get better reception or go to the next location. If your phone battery dies, the app will remember the last step. When you get to a location to charge your phone, re-open the app and complete the rescue. Call Food Finders if you experience challenges.
What if I split my donation between 2 or more agencies? How do I enter the donation on the app?
If you split your donation between two different recipient agencies, you will see two rescues in the “My rescues” section on the app. You will have to click ‘start’ on both rescues and complete the steps for each rescue.
What if I have multiple/overlapping rescues and the pickup time overlaps?
You can have multiple rescues open on the app. Click ‘start’ for each rescue and navigate between the donations on the screen. For the first rescue started, go to the donor, record the estimated donation amount, take a picture and click ‘next’, then navigate to the next rescue. Remember to do all steps for each donation to successfully complete your rescue.
What if I find my own sub (other Food Finders volunteers or people I know) to do my rescue when I cannot make a pickup?
Anyone who is subbing should be signed up as a volunteer with Food Finders. This way we can ensure they are familiar with our best practices and standard pickup procedures. If your sub is currently not a volunteer, have them first download the app and then they should call Food Finders to let us know they will be picking up for you.
What if I am running more than an hour late than the start time listed for my rescue?
Please call Food Finders immediately so we can ensure the donation is still available with the donor and there is someone to receive the donation at the recipient agency.
What if I am an agency and I have multiple drivers who will do rescues?
There are 2 options. The first is to have one central phone with the app downloaded utilized for all rescues. This might require different drivers to utilize one phone. Second, have each driver download the app and sign up. Always let Food Finders know which driver is designated for which rescue so we can assign rescues to your drivers to complete the process on their own phones. If neither option works, call Food Finders to work out a solution.
When does my organization need to sign up and begin using the App?
Once your agency has been on-boarded by our staff, you can download and use the app. Your drivers may download the app and create their own profile. This app will replace any previous paper or electronic forms. Call Food Finders if you need more assistance.