How It Works
How does your platform work?
FoodRecovery.org is scalable and tailored. Depending on the size of your operations, we match you to nonprofit recipients who best fit you.
Small and medium-sized businesses can sign up as donors for free, and create a Donation Post whenever they have extra food available!
Large agribusinesses, warehouses, and manufacturers work with our large donation management team to schedule dock appointments and trucking.
When nonprofit users sign up, they tell us where they are and what type of food they need. When any food donation fitting those criteria becomes available, users get an email or SMS text message about it. If interested, they can claim the donation, and the donor and recipient are put in contact with each other.
How much does it cost to use your platform?
Nothing! We do not charge emergency food providers for using our system or donors for posting their extra food. Our platform is completely free for all users.
Does FoodRecovery.org work in my area?
We have users in all 50 states & Washington, DC. Our strongest networks and partnerships are shown here. We are always looking to grow our food recovery community wherever there is food and people.
Do I qualify to receive donated food?
To receive food donations via FoodRecovery.org, you must be a charitable organization that includes but is not limited to nonprofits, shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, food banks, and mutual aid groups. If you are a 501(c)(3) organization, submit your EIN for our system to approve you to receive food donations.
Does my business qualify to donate extra food?
Yes! If you are a food business following your local and state health department regulations, you can donate food. These types of food businesses include but are not limited to restaurants, grocery stores, farms, catering companies, convention centers, schools, cafeterias, warehouses, and manufacturers. All of these businesses are protected from liability under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996 and the Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021.
What kind of food do people donate?
All kinds! We have received donations of fresh fruits and vegetables, leftover catering meals, shelf-stable goods like peanut butter or beans, pallets of drinks, refrigerated trucks filled with dairy, and other types of food.
We are a small nonprofit organization. Can we still sign up to receive donations?
Yes! Smaller emergency food providers, such as food pantries and shelters are encouraged to sign up. We receive food donations of all sizes, as small as 5 pounds, so emergency food providers of all sizes can benefit from FoodRecovery.org.
We are a mid-size or large food bank. We are only looking for large palletized donations. Can we receive donations of this size?
Yes! We can support food recovery with larger emergency food providers, such as food banks. We receive food donations of all sizes, including multiple loads of 40,000 pounds or more, so emergency food providers of all sizes can benefit from FoodRecovery.org.
Can individuals post donations on FoodRecovery.org?
No. Due to liability, food safety, and handling concerns, we do not currently allow individuals to post donations. If you are affiliated with a restaurant, catering company, or other food service or business, you can post on FoodRecovery.org, however private individuals or households cannot. Please consider sharing your extra food with a community fridge or other nearby group.
Can I sell food donated from FoodRecovery.org?
What is FoodRecovery.org?
We are an online platform and free service for nonprofits to receive food donations and businesses to donate extra food. Our vision is to end food insecurity and keep extra food out of the landfill.
Dive deeper into our story here.
How is FoodRecovery.org funded?
As a 501(c)3, we are funded mainly by grants and donations. Any donation to us is tax-deductible. We were kickstarted by the 2015 George Washington University’s Business Plan Competition, and have been supported by many other great organizations and individuals since then including: Grubhub Community Fund, Irvin Stern, StopWaste, UNFI, Kellogg’s Foundation, Valley Venture Mentors, Venturewell, ELCA, Simply Organic, EcoLab, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and more.
To make a charitable donation, click here.
Food Safety & Liability
How do you assure donation quality?
The FoodRecovery.org team can’t personally check every donation, but we do have checks in place to prevent unwholesome food from being posted on our platform. Donors can post pictures of their donation, which allows recipients to see the quality of the food posted. Each donor is required to check a box stating that the food is wholesome and donated in good faith.
If a donor is posting unwholesome food, or if a recipient fails to follow-through and pick up an item, our team will follow up. Consistent issues from food donors or recipients will be put on pause until further notice. If you have questions or concerns about a donation, feel free to text or call us at (202) 449-1507.
Will I be sued for donating food?
No! You are covered under two federal bills, the Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021 and the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996. Both these bills protect food donors from lawsuits. Further research from our team did not find any lawsuits in regards to food donations.
How do I post a donation?
How do I claim a donation?
To claim via email, click the green “claim item” or “view item” if you want to see more about it. Via SMS text, click on the link to the item to claim. If you are having issues claiming, please call or text us at (202)449-1507
How many other users are in my area?
When you sign up for FoodRecovery.org, your dashboard will display how many users are in the area.
Can I see donations available in my area?
Once you make an account, sign in and your homepage will have a button “View Nearby Donations.” If you don’t see any donations nearby, you can change your settings (upper right corner under account) and adjust the maximum item distance in miles. If you still don’t see any donations, wait a few weeks and see if you receive donation alerts. If not, your area may be growing and donations are not regular (yet).
Do you deliver the food?
Yes! Our team of drivers can deliver donations of over 40 pounds. When a recipient claims an item, they have the option to request transportation. Note: there are locations where we do not currently have a team of drivers and will work with the nonprofit to find a solution.
Can the food donor deliver?
On the post and in the email notification, it will say whether the donor can deliver. If the donor cannot deliver the food or if the nonprofit cannot pick it up, we can assist with delivery in many circumstances.
My EIN number wasn't recognized. How do I submit an application as proof of our nonprofit status?
Under account, click the name of your organization. At the top of the page, it will give you an alert saying your organization “can’t claim donations, but can donate food.” In that text box, click “Verify nonprofit status” and submit the corresponding documents. The MEANS Database staff will review your documents within the week and approve your organization or contact you with further questions. If you have not heard from us after 5 business days, please contact email@example.com
I can’t find my confirmation email. What should I do?
Sometimes your confirmation email can get stuck in your spam filter. To resend the confirmation email, reach out to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org, through the chat feature in the lower right corner of the website, or by calling/texting us at (202)449-1507.
I forgot my password. What should I do?
Easy peasy fix! When you are logging in, you can click reset password. If you are still having issues please email us at email@example.com or call/text us at (202)449-1507
How often will I receive emails?
Most emails you get from us are when we have food nearby based on the parameters in your account. For those who want to receive our monthly newsletter, you can sign up here. The newsletter shares successes, campaigns and keeps our community close even as we are spread out across the US.