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Food Rescue

What is Food Rescue?

Food rescue is the process of redirecting perfectly good food that might go to waste to people who need it. In the United States, nearly 40% of the food we produce is wasted. Much of this food is perfectly good and healthy to consume. By redirecting that food to our neighbors in need, City Harvest is fighting hunger through food rescue. 

Since our founding more than 40 years ago, City Harvest has rescued more than one billion pounds of surplus food that would have otherwise gone to waste and delivered it, free of charge, to our partner food pantries and soup kitchens, Community Partner Distributions and our Mobile Markets® to help feed New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity. Roughly 75% of the food we rescue and deliver is fresh produce.

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How We Rescue Food

  • Surplus Food

    Nearly 2,000 generous food businesses—including farms, restaurants, grocers, wholesalers, and manufacturers—donate excess food to City Harvest. 

  • Trucks on the Road

    City Harvest’s fleet of 24 food rescue trucks, including three tractor trailers and one van, is on the road seven days a week, picking up from our food donors and dropping off at our more than 400 partner agencies.

  • Food Rescue Center

    Our 150,000-square-foot home in Sunset Park, Brooklyn has been designed to accommodate the growth of the organization’s operational capacity to meet current and future levels of need.

  • Distribution & Food Programs

    Our drivers deliver the food we rescue—free of charge—to more than 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, our own Mobile Markets®, Community Partner Distributions, and other community food programs across New York City. 

  • Investing in our Agency Partners

    Our Network Capacity team offers support to help build the capacity of partner agencies, including providing grants, trainings, and volunteer management resources, to best serve and meet the needs of our communities. 

Food Rescue & the Environment


Food waste is the single biggest material placed in municipal landfills.


Municipal landfills account for more than 14% of methane gas emissions, a key contributor to climate change.


The number of pounds of food that City Harvest will divert from landfills this year.


Our food rescue this year will stop 20,570,131 kilograms of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

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Feeding Our City Today and For Years to Come

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