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 over 3,700 non-profit and charitable partners across Canada.
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.
Food Rescue Programs
Second Harvest Food Rescue App
Available anywhere in Canada, any time, our food rescue system connects your generous donation to organizations right in your community.
How it works
- To start, you’ll register on our food rescue system, or give us a call if you’d like some more info.
- 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.
- You pack up your product to ensure a quick pick-up.
- A local non-profit – either Second Harvest or one of our partners – arrives at the set time and picks up your product.
- The organization brings the food back to their location and distributes it through their food programming.
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.
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.
- 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
- Food from people’s homes
- 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.**
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.