Our Story


FoodRescue.ca is the creation of Second Harvest, Canada's largest food rescue organization.

Rescuing surplus food for over 32 years, we've seen the need in our communities and matched it with generous donors, who understand the importance of recovering healthy, nutritious food and diverting it to those in need.

Although we redistributed over 10 million pounds in 2017, there is still far too much good food being thrown away.  So we decided to build a system to expand the recovery of perfectly edible food, giving direct access for social service organizations to help those experiencing food insecurity.

This new platform takes a local approach to rescuing food. We heard from businesses that they're very willing to donate their surplus product.  They just needed a system to make it easy and safe to connect with social service programs in their own communities. 

That's what FoodRescue.ca is all about.



Anything is Possible
with great partners.



We are extremely grateful for the incredible support of this initiative from
Walmart Foundation
We're able to expand the reach of this program thanks to
the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
acknowledgement of the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care as a partner with the MOECC, 
Loblaw Companies, and individual supporters, like you.


This project has also received funding support from the Government of Ontario.

Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the content of this material.


We would also like to thank the generous contributions of

2Ship logo

Baker McKenzie logo


Trevor Owen ProBags logo


Second Harvest is known
for sharing.

Second Harvest logo


Over 600 food businesses donate surplus to Second Harvest. We redistribute to over 250 social service organizations in Toronto and augment food programs in other communities across Ontario.

Second Harvest is known for:

  • Providing fresh, healthy, perishable food for 30,000 meals a day
  • Being a global though-leader on redirecting surplus food, reducing waste, and alleviating food insecurity
  • Active participation in the development of Canada's National Food Policy
  • Averting 6.1M lbs of GHG emissions from entering the atmosphere in 2017
  • Providing educational resources, food safety training and certification
  • Instigating best practice  sharing among community food programs
  • Supporting 5 training kitchens in Toronto (Harvest Kitchens)
  • Being a non-partisan supporter of all ages, genders, races, religions - ensuring everyone has access to healthy food





The Language of Food Rescue


Food Rescue

The process of obtaining edible, unsold, surplus food from across the supply chain and distributing it to local emergency food programs.


Food Donation

An offer of surplus, edible food intended as aid without expectation or condition of any payment.


Food Security

"Food Security is the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."  Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations


Social Service Organizations

For FoodRescue.ca, we work with registered charities and incorporated not-for-profit agencies that offer food programs, providing nourishment to those experiencing food insecurity.


Food Program

Meals, snacks, or food items which are offered to the public to provide food assistance.


Food Bank

A not-for-profit, charitable organization that distributes food items to people and families requiring assistance to ensure they have adequate food to avoid hunger. Food Banks typically distribute food to be consumed off their premises and do not process or serve prepared food, however some Food Banks offer food programs. 


Food Charity

Any not-for-profit, charitable organization that offers food programming, such as meals for seniors, food for shelters, snacks for after school programs, or items for student nutrition programs, drop-in centres, food banks, or food hampers at no cost to the individuals accessing them. 


Student Nutrition

Programs that offer school-age children and youth nutritious food through breakfast, lunch, and snack programs. The goal of the program is to support learning and healthy development.