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Give Food

You can be part of our growing food recovery network.

Fuel people. Reduce waste.

If you’re a food business, you have surplus food. Second Harvest works with thousands of businesses across the food supply chain to rescue and redistribute unsold, surplus food to our network of 3,000 non-profit and charitable partners across Canada.

Our diverse network includes:

  • Farms  
  • Greenhouses  
  • Processors  
  • Manufacturers  
  • Distributors  
  • Wholesalers  
  • Retailers  
  • Hotels, restaurants, and institutions

By rescuing good, edible food and redirecting it to non-profits who can use it in their programming, we collectively help feed people while also reducing the harsh environmental impacts of letting good food go to waste. 

For every dollar spent on food waste reduction, a business benefits $14, a 1,300% return on investment*. Not only that, you’ll also improve employee engagement and staff retention and help meet your corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.  

* https://champs123blog.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/report_-business-case-for-reducing-food-loss-and-waste.pdf 

Food Rescue

How it works  

  1. To start, you’ll register on our food rescue system, or give us a call if you’d like some more info.  
  2. Depending on your location, amount of food and type of food, our system arranges pick-up of your surplus at a time that works for you.  
  3. You pack up your product to ensure a quick pick-up.  
  4. A local non-profit – either Second Harvest or one of our partners – arrives at the set time and picks up your product.  
  5. The organization brings the food back to their location and distributes it through their food programming. 

Get in Touch

We’d love for you to join our network as a food donor or recipient non-profit organization. Connect with our team today or join on the app to get started right away.

So many ways to help

Want to do more than just donate your surplus food? Our Harvest Kitchens program takes donating to the next level. Use your surplus food to cook meals for people in need right in your community. 

Learn More

Still want to know more?

Check out our FAQs to learn more about food rescue and the importance of ensuring good food gets to people’s plates, not landfill. You can also visit our Resource Library for lots of great food donation info and tools.

Every province and territory in Canada has a food donation act that protects organizations from liability when donating food in good faith. Under the food donation acts, incorporated businesses, non-profits, employees, and volunteers are not liable for damages resulting from the consumption of donated food.  

Second Harvest takes this assurance one step further by offering education to recipient organizations on safe food handling and by providing a digital paper trail for donations. Should a business need to recall a product, we know exactly where to find it.  

We take food safety seriously and ask that food donors and recipient organizations comply with their provincial or territorial food safety requirements. All facilities need to be up to date with health inspections and food safe handling training for anyone who prepares food. 

We take food safety seriously and ask that food donors and recipient organizations comply with their provincial or territorial food safety requirements. All facilities need to be up to date with health inspections and food safe handling training for anyone who prepares food.  

Our training and education programs provide tools, training, and safe food handler certification to our non-profit partners, ensuring they meet and exceed food safety standards.  
Any food that is safe to eat can be donated. Check out our Best Before Date Timetable for a quick guide on when foods can be donated and consumed. However, to ensure everyone’s safety, these foods cannot be donated:
  • Leftover food that has been plated and served, including salad bar ingredients that are exposed to public touch  
  • Prepared food that has been in the temperature danger zone for 2 hours or more  
  • Food or drinks with alcohol and/or medicinal ingredients  
  • Packaged food that’s been opened or has a broken seal  
  • Sushi  
  • Food from people’s homes  
There are no donation size limits! Whether it’s ten pounds of food or ten thousand pounds, Second Harvest helps to match your donations to local charities and non-profits who can accept just the amount of food you have.
Absolutely. Second Harvest values and prioritizes your existing partnerships. We’re here to enhance them if we can, while allowing you to track your impact along the way. If you’d like to check whether we’re already working with your partner organization, reach out to us.
Select food donations may qualify for a tax receipt. Check out our tax receipting policy for more details. While not all donations qualify for a tax receipt, there are many financial benefits to donating:
  • Increase staff engagement and retention by getting them involved in the initiative. 71% of employees say that they would be more loyal to a company with good social and environmental practices.*  
  • Reduce hard costs such as tipping fees for your business.  
  • Promote your good work to your customers. 80% of consumers are looking for proof of CSR.**  
*Business Development Bank of Canada Mapping your future growth  ** Government of Canada Human Resources for Sustainability 
With our food rescue app, it’s easy! We’re a charity just trying to make the world a better place. You can join us to use the app whenever you have surplus food. For some businesses that is every day, for others it is once a year. We’re here when you need us. 

We’re an environmental organization, so we’ve set minimums for sending a Second Harvest truck. Businesses in Toronto wishing to use our direct delivery program must have a minimum of 200 pounds of nutrient-dense food (produce, protein, prepared or dairy) to receive a pick-up.  

Of course, our food rescue programs are always free for our valued network partners.  

Testimonials

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Rhema Christian Ministries has benefited significantly with the food received from Second Harvest, especially during this pandemic time. Our clients are appreciative of the variety of food.   Thank you, Second Harvest!  Rhema Food Bank could not feed the communities without your support.

Grace Williams
Rhema Christian Ministries 
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No waste, no hunger means continuing to grow our business sustainably while ensuring that our finished goods and the raw products that we use always sustain our communities and never become waste. Second Harvest supports our objective to continue to bring people together and unite them towards planet-friendly food.

Audrey Leduc
McCain Foods
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Our “pay what you can” meal program to combat COVID-19 food security issues in Brandon, MB was made possible because of Second Harvest. They have regularly gone out of their way to ensure we have a steady stream of groceries to produce 600 nutritious tasty meals weekly since June 2020. Everyoneeatsbrandon.ca loves Second Harvest.

Ross Robinson
The John Howard Society of Brandon, Inc.
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The Second Harvest Food Rescue App makes it so easy to give back to the community. Our restaurants and their teams love participating in something so impactful. Thanks to Second Harvest for helping us on our mission to always do what is right for our communities, environment and staff.

Sammi Silverman
A&W Canada