Food rescue is intercepting perfectly good food that’s heading to the waste stream and delivering it to where it’s needed immediately.
Our food system is radically inefficient. In 2019, the U.S. let a huge 35% of the 229 million tons of food available go unsold or uneaten. We call this surplus food, and while a very small portion of it is donated to those in need and more is recycled, the vast majority becomes food waste, which goes straight to landfill, incineration, or down the drain, or is simply left in the fields to rot.
Overall, ReFED estimates that 24% of all food in the U.S.—54 million tons—goes to these waste destinations.
Yes! The best way to make an impact on food waste overall is to attack it at its source: the local, city and county level. As we grow the food recovery movement, city by city, town by town and store by store, we believe we can cut food waste in half by 2030.
You can start a food recovery operation where you live!