Food Heroes: Companies + Volunteers combating Food Waste



Rescuing leftover cuisine

Of the 318.9 million people in the United States, an estimated 49.1 million— or one in seven— were food insecure during 2014, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Since their inception in 2013, RLC have rescued nearly 2 million pounds of food and have served 1.5 million meals. You can feel their presence in the following cities:

Albany, NY, Amarillo , TX, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Hillsborough, NJ, Los Angeles, CA, Massachusetts, Mid-Hudson, NY, Nashville, TN, New York City, Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA


imperfect produce

More than 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown in America never make it off the farm because they aren't perfect enough for grocery store standards. This results in billions of pounds of wasted produce every year. We're talking about produce that is just as nutritious and delicious but looks a little different. With so many delicious fruits and vegetables going to waste, we decided we had to do something.

Imperfect fights food waste by finding a home for 'ugly' produce. They source directly from farms and deliver the goodness to customers' doors for about 30% less than grocery store prices. Their subscription produce box is affordable, convenient, customizable, healthy, and delicious. But Imperfect is bigger than just the box. By eating 'ugly,' you're helping build a more sustainable and effective food system. You're helping fight food waste. You're ensuring farmers are rewarded for their full harvest with less wasted land, fossil fuels, and water. You're improving access to healthy food. You're creating fulfilling careers for employees. With every bite into a misshapen apple or crooked carrot, you're helping shape our world for the better.

412 Food Rescue

"412 Food Rescue has helped to ensure that no HACP resident will be denied access to fresh, healthy food. Despite major cuts to the federal SNAP program....412 Food Rescue has managed to effectively end hunger in our public housing communities."

Michelle Sandidge - Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

412 Food Rescue was founded as a direct response to the disconnect between food waste, hunger and environmental sustainability. They partner with food retailers, nonprofit organizations, and #FoodRescueHeroes to bring healthy food directly to those experiencing food insecurity.

Food cowboy - app

Food Cowboy Foundation’s goal is to encourage the highest use of wholesome unmarketable food, through the development of sustainable public-private partnerships between food companies, food charities, and other waste diverters with a focus on bridging the technology, communication and infrastructure gap that results in large amounts of food waste.

Food cowboy uses location based technology to route food waste to its highest and best user.


Apeel Sciences

Apeel Sciences is a company that’s fighting the global food waste crisis by utilizing nature’s approach to preventing waste in the first place — a sustainable approach to the world’s growing food demands. Apeel’s plant-derived products help USDA Organic Certified and conventional fresh food growers, suppliers, and retailers improve produce quality and slow spoilage, which minimizes food waste from the farm to the kitchen.

Apeel is a family of plant-derived coatings that fresh food growers, suppliers and retailers use to keep produce fresh. Produce with Apeel stays fresh two to three times longer, which promotes more sustainable growing practices, better quality food, and less food waste for everyone.

Apeel keeps moisture inside produce and oxygen out, which dramatically slows the rate that produce spoils. By maintaining moisture and reducing oxidation, Apeel supports the plant’s natural abilities to protect against environmental stressors.


Food forward

Food Forward’s mission is to fight hunger and prevent food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need and inspiring others to do the same.

They collect fresh fruits and vegetables that would normally go to waste from backyard fruit trees, public orchards, farmers markets, and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. 100% of the produce recovered is donated to hunger relief agencies across 8 counties in Southern California. As 1 in 6 individuals lacks adequate access to food. Food Forward presents a simple solution to this disparity by connecting surplus produce with the food insecure people in our communities.



Shrub: the food sharing hub

Is a community-led cooperative based in Edinburgh with a mission to end all forms of waste. They offer workshops in upcycling, fixing and repairing and food sharing to end household food wastes.

If you live in Edinburgh, you can sign up to volunteer.


Related Video: LA Fight Food Waste


When Rick Nahmias realized that fresh produce in his community was routinely being tossed out for minor bruising or browning, he knew something needed to be done to end the unnecessary waste. He founded Food Forward, a non-profit dedicated to ending hunger by sharing abundance.