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Food Rescue App

Connecting communities to feed people, not landfill.

The Second Harvest Food Rescue App

Food donations from businesses support a network of over 3,000 social service organizations across Canada, providing healthy and fresh food for community initiatives – from snacks for children’s after-school programs, meals for seniors and prepared meals, to food for shelters, drop-in centres, and local food banks. 

Donating food helps protect our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it keeps healthy food where it belongs: in pantries and on plates, not in landfill. What’s not to love?

Here’s how the app works

Get started in a few simple steps: 

  • Register online or download the mobile app to create your food business or non-profit account  
  • Businesses log in and create a donation posting  
  • Nearby non-profits who are on the app are notified about the available donations. They view the details and can claim the donation if they’re interested  
  • The claiming non-profit picks up the food from the business at the agreed time

Making Change Happen

Since launching the app in 2018, we’ve made tremendous progress in the food waste revolution. 

Learn More

17.7 Million

Pounds of food rescued

$50.9 Million

Worth of food rescued

124 Million

Pounds of greenhouse gases averted

Want to learn more?

Read our FAQ to learn more about food rescue, our Food Rescue App, 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 rescue info and tools. 

Food businesses register a free account then create a donation by entering details such as type of food, pickup window time frame and any pickup details. The system sends a notice to registered organizations nearby letting them know that you have food available. If an organization is interested, they claim your donation and you’re notified. They then come pick it up during the set time window.    

The app even shows you the environmental impact of your rescued food and lets you share your impact story on social media, right from the app.  

Check out this video that shows you how to post a donation on the app.

Registered charities and non-profit organizations register a free account. When a business in your area has food to donate, the system sends you a notice by email. You check out the details of the donation and when the business needs pickup. If you’re interested and can make the pickup time, claim the donation.   

Once you’ve claimed the donation, it’s your responsibility to get it picked up during the time window. Make sure you arrive on time and follow the pickup details provided by the business. Get the food and return it to your organization.    


Once you’ve returned, log in to the app and mark the donation as complete. Both your organization and the business can now track the metrics associated with the donation, including pounds rescued, meals provided, value of the food and greenhouse gases averted.   

Check out this video that shows you how to claim a donation on the app.

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
  • 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  
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. Donating through the app provides a digital paper trail for donations. Should a business need to recall a product, we know exactly where to find it. 
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 get your donation partner registered, let them know about the app and ask them to sign up.   

Once registered, a business can created a “targeted” donation, making that donation available to a single non-profit of their choice. This is a great option for existing partnerships.  

To help get your donation partner registered, reach out to us at foodrescue@secondharvest.ca
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.
Things change, we get that. If you need to cancel your pickup, log in to the app and cancel it there. Note that our terms and conditions state that non-profits cannot cancel donations with four hours or less to the pickup time. This ensures that businesses get their food picked up, so that we can keep reducing food waste together.   

Here's a quick tutorial on how to cancel a pickup in the app. Remember, please only cancel if it’s absolutely necessary.   
None! We’re a charity just trying to make the world a better place. You can join us, but you never have to post or claim a donation if you don’t want to. You can always turn your notifications on or off to suit your needs.   

Of course, our food rescue programs are always completely free.
Donations come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the business. A farmer may have thousands of pounds of carrots to donate at the end of a season, while a café may have a few sandwiches to donate each workday. Our food rescue model puts the choice in our network partners’ hands, so that you can see donations in your area and select the ones that are right for you. Don’t worry if you see something that you can’t use. We can be sure that there is another organization who will be a great fit. 
Any business or registered non-profit can log in and post or claim a donation. We work hard to get donations matched with a nearby organization who can use it, but we can’t guarantee that every donation will be claimed, or that there will always be donations available for every organization. We’re a charity who is passionate about reducing food waste and feeding people. We’ll do everything we can to get donations for your location. 

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