—Rescue Food

Rescue Food makes sure surplus good food keeps moving to people who need it. The program empowers volunteers to connect food donors with service agencies distributing food to vulnerable members of our communities.

Here at Leftovers, rescuing food is what we do! The Rescue Food program uses a dedicated app to mobilize and organize volunteers, connecting vendors with excess good food to service agencies in need of food donations for clients experiencing crisis hunger. This program operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hinton, and Airdrie, and will be launching in Red Deer and Lethbridge in summer 2023.

1,068,004 lbs redirected in 2022

864,405 lbs of CO₂ equivalents diverted

9,366 routes were completed

Rescue Food YYC

The longest-running of our Rescue Food programs, Rescue Food YYC began with Lourdes Juan’s first trip from a Calgary bakery to a drop-in centre in 2012. Since then, the program has grown exponentially, from rescuing food at the Calgary Stampede in 2017 to redirecting over 200,000 lbs of food during the first months of pandemic lockdowns in 2020.

Rescue Food YYC also facilitates large-scale donations, with pallets of donated food broken down and distributed from our warehouse, often to service agencies still on the waitlist for regular deliveries through the app.

194,952 lbs redirected in 2022

109,173 lbs of CO₂ equivalents diverted in 2022

2,733 routes were completed in 2022

For more information about Rescue Food YYC, please contact our Calgary City Coordinator, Amanda Bishop, amanda@rescuefood.ca.

Rescue Food YEG

In 2017, the Rescue Food program expanded to Edmonton, and since then, the program has grown to equal Calgary in volume. In 2021, our WastEd Webinar presented different perspectives on food rescue, waste reduction, and the need for food access programming in Edmonton. (Check out some of those episodes here!)

Rescue Food YEG runs without a home base, meaning that all of the food we redistribute in Edmonton is done by volunteer drivers (or cyclists or walkers!) through the app. Look for us tabling at events throughout the city!

250,913 lbs redirected in 2022

348,769 lbs of CO₂ equivalents diverted in 2022

2,829 routes were completed in 2022

For more information about Rescue Food YEG, please contact our Edmonton City Coordinator, Alex Wong, alex@rescuefood.ca.

Rescue Food YWG

Rescue Food YWG launched in November 2020 and quickly became our highest volume Rescue Food program. Working closely with Red River Co-op, Rescue Food YWG redirects, on average, more than 40,000 lbs of food per month! Much of that food comes through the YWG warehouse, where dedicated volunteers break down large-scale donations for distribution to service agencies who can use the food to feed vulnerable Winnipeggers.

Look for us tabling at the St. Norbert Farmers Market this summer!

539,123 lbs redirected
in 2022

301,909 lbs of CO₂ equivalents diverted in 2022

3,174 routes were completed in 2022

For more information about Rescue Food YWG, please contact our Winnipeg City Coordinator, Julia Kraemer, juliakraemer@rescuefood.ca.

Rescue Food YQL

We are active in Lethbridge! Find us tabling around the city this summer.

For more information about Rescue Food YQL, please contact our Lethbridge City Coordinator, Katarina Meyer, katarina@rescuefood.ca.

Rescue Food YQF

We are active in Red Deer! Find us tabling around the city this summer.

For more information about Rescue Food YQF, please contact our Red Deer City Coordinator, Kaity Engel, kaity@rescuefood.ca.

As a volunteer, you choose what routes work best for you. Download our app to start rescuing and delivering food.

Want to donate food or receive food? Read about how food donors and service agencies can get involved.

Donate Today

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Kin Volunteer

We’re currently recruiting volunteers who want to help serve coffee and be a part of a fun new social initiative.

  • Volunteer shifts are 4 hours long
  • Shifts are either 7am-11am or 11am-3pm
  • 2 people are needed per shift, so sign up with your partner or a friend
  • You can volunteer as little or as much as you’d like
  • Sign-ups will be live on the Leftovers Rescue Food app soon

There will be a mandatory in-person training for all new Kin volunteers. This training will be brief, but will go over setup & tear down, food safety, POS terminal instruction and PWYW info.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please send an email to kin@rescuefood.ca expressing which shift and dates you’re interested in covering.

*Please note that all Kin volunteers need to be vaccinated as per YMCA and AHS Covid Policy.*

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Friday, September 30th

Today we are observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We encourage you to read the 94 Calls to Action and commit to working towards at least one of them.

You can also donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

COVID-19 Guidelines - Growers

Hello Growers,
THANK YOU for your commitment to reducing food waste and helping those experiencing food insecurity!
Below are some COVID guidelines to keep in mind when requesting a harvest:
  • CANCEL YOUR HARVEST REQUEST if you and/or someone that you have been in contact with is not feeling well, has travelled within 14 days, has been in close contact with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus, or are awaiting test results.
  • If you choose to keep some of the harvested food, please WASH IT BEFORE CONSUMING.
  • Please avoid contact with harvest volunteers. If you do interact with them in person, please ensure you MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE AND WEAR A MASK
If you have any questions at all, please email us at help@rescuefood.ca. Thank you so much for your help and willingness to be there for our community!

COVID-19 Guidelines

Hello Volunteers,
THANK YOU for your commitment to reducing food waste and helping those experiencing food insecurity!
Below are some COVID guidelines to keep in mind while harvesting on behalf of Home Harvest:
  • You must SIGN A WAIVER prior to attending a harvest
  • Volunteers who sign up in the app must keep a record of everyone who attends each harvest with them so that they can be notified if needed for contact-tracing purposes
  • Please WEAR A MASK throughout the harvest and WASH YOUR HANDS/USE HAND SANITIZER before and after the harvest (and during, if necessary). Contact help@rescuefood.ca if you’d like a reusable mask.
  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING MUST BE PRACTICED AT ALL TIMES. Please ensure you maintain physical distance from individuals not in your cohort, including other harvest volunteers and growers. 
  • DO NOT HARVEST FOOD if you and/or someone that you have been in close contact with is not feeling well, has travelled within 14 days, has been in contact with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus, or are awaiting test results.
  • SANITIZE SURFACES you come in contact with (fences, gates, tools, equipment) before and after the harvest.
  • LEAVE NO TRACE. Please take home any sanitizing equipment, masks and garbage created throughout the pick. 
  • Practice NO CONTACT DROP OFFS at agencies (ensure that the food is in a safe/covered area).
  • Bags or boxes that you are using to contain/transport the harvested food do not need to be sterilized, but please ensure they are clean.
Please Note: Volunteers are not responsible for washing fruit before donation to charities. Charities that accept fruit donations will be responsible for fruit washing before food preparation and/or eating.
If you have any questions at all, please email us at help@rescuefood.ca. Thank you so much for your help and willingness to be there for our community!
Hello Growers,
THANK YOU for your commitment to reducing food waste and helping those experiencing food insecurity!
Below are some COVID guidelines to keep in mind when requesting a harvest:
  • CANCEL YOUR HARVEST REQUEST if you and/or someone that you have been in contact with is not feeling well, has travelled within 14 days, has been in close contact with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus, or are awaiting test results.
  • If you choose to keep some of the harvested food, please WASH IT BEFORE CONSUMING.
  • Please avoid contact with harvest volunteers. If you do interact with them in person, please ensure you MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE AND WEAR A MASK
If you have any questions at all, please email us at help@rescuefood.ca. Thank you so much for your help and willingness to be there for our community!

COVID-19 Update

Hello Leftovers Partners and Volunteers,

Your commitment to reducing food waste and increasing food access in our community is so incredibly valued – THANK YOU!

Due to COVID-19, many businesses are temporarily shutting their doors and cancelling events. As a result, we have seen a significant change in the frequency and volume of donations. At the same time, access to food has never been more difficult for many members of our community. Whether it’s students who have been isolated from their only meals of the day, seniors who are at-risk every time they leave home, or the many who have recently lost their jobs due to this crisis, we are seeing an unprecedented need for access to food.

  • Please ensure that all donations are covered/wrapped.
  • Please wear a mask and wash your hands/use sanitizer frequently when handling food donations. Do not touch the food itself. Contact help@rescuefood.ca if you’d like a reuseable mask.
  • Practice no-contact drop offs at agencies (ensure that the food is in a safe/covered area).
  • Do not rescue food if you and/or someone that you have been in contact with is not feeling well, has travelled within 14 days, or been in contact with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus.

We are posting changes/cancellations to food donation routes on the app as they come in. All routes that are posted on the app are as up-to-date as possible. If a donor or agency tells you they’d like to cancel or change hours, please email this feedback to heidi@rescuefood.ca (Calgary), nicole@rescuefood.ca (Edmonton) or juliakraemer@rescuefood.ca (Winnipeg) so we can update the app.

If you have any questions at all, please email us at help@rescuefood.ca. Thank you so much for your help and willingness to be there for our community!