Food Rescue

Minimizing food waste while fighting hunger

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee’s Food Rescue program prevents waste by rescuing fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and other types of donated goods, including clothing, diapers, furniture items, and household products. Our team partners with food manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers who generously donate these goods. 

Statistics at odds

According to Feeding America, 80 million tons of food goes to waste while 44 million Americans face food insecurity.

Twice the impact

Food Rescue prevents good, usable products from being wasted and provides individuals with high-quality, fresh, nutritious foods they may not otherwise have access to. This past year, our team rescued 10,149,061 pounds of product for our East Tennessee neighbors.

A safe and efficient process

Second Harvest’s Food Rescue team, or staff from our agency partners, pick up and transport rescued food. The food is placed directly into a refrigerated truck, after which the driver delivers it to food pantries, shelters, senior housing facilities, etc. — or, in the case of an agency partner driver, brought back to their own organization’s facility.

Partner Agency benefits

Because the goods collected through Food Rescue are offered to our partners at no cost, the program saves these organizations thousands of dollars a month. Consequently, agencies are able to expand their resources and provide better service to their clients. Many of these agencies even rely exclusively on Food Rescue as their only food source. 

Donate goods to do good

We’re always looking for new donors, and the generosity of partner suppliers truly does make all the difference. Through your organization’s support, we can continue to prevent food waste while making a difference in the lives of our East Tennessee neighbors.

Get involved

If you would like to donate to the Food Rescue program, volunteer with us, or have any questions about this program, please contact our Food Rescue Manager Ruth Ivey.


Reach out today to learn more about what we do, get involved, or for additional information about our resources.