Food Rescue Program

About the Food Rescue Program

Every year in the U.S. nearly 100 billion pounds of food available for human consumption is thrown away. To prevent this massive waste and to feed people in need, food banks and charities across the country have implemented food rescue programs that deliver prepared and soon-to-be expired food directly to nonprofits with feeding programs. The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s Food Rescue Program connects its nonprofit partners including soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and churches with food donors including restaurants, caterers, corporate cafeterias, and hotels. Through the program the Food Bank connects food vendors who have excess perishable prepared food with its nonprofit partners who collect food from donors and distribute the food to individuals and families in need, often the same day it is received.


Food Donation Procedure

Donating food to the Food Bank’s Food Rescue Program is simple. Below are the easy steps to donating.

1. A registered food donor informs the Food Bank of an upcoming event where excess food might be available.

2. The Food Bank notifies its registered nonprofit partners about the potential donation.

3. The first nonprofit to respond receives rights to the donation, and the nonprofit’s contact information is given to the food donor for further direct communication.

4. The nonprofit will be “on call” during the event and must provide transportation for collection.

5. Donors must notify the nonprofit on the status of leftovers at the end of the event. If there are leftovers, the food donor will arrange a time for pick up with the recipient nonprofit.

6. The recipient nonprofit will arrange transportation for the food to be collected.


Information for Donors

1. Any size hotel, restaurant or food vendor can participate in the program.

2. There are no restrictions governing the frequency of donations. A food donor may donate food once or on an ongoing basis.

3. There are no transportation requirements for the donor. The recipient nonprofit must provide transportation to collect all food donations.

4. As the donor, you will be asked to sign an agreement, supplied by the Food Bank, stating your intentions to donate food that has been stored and distributed following proper food safety guidelines.

PDF Information for food donors and food donor contract

PDF Food donor donation report

To learn more, please contact Amanda Carson, Food Rescue Coordinator, at 858-863-5173 or send an email to