Our Story


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

Rescuing surplus food for 34 years, we've matched food donations from generous businesses, who understand the importance of recovering healthy, nutritious food and diverting it to those in need.

Although we redistributed over 12 million pounds in 2018, there is still far too much unsold, edible food being thrown away.  Businesses realize that it's a shame to send unsold food to landfill, which damages our environment through the release of unnecessary greenhouse gases. 

This new platform takes a local approach, giving food donors a simple and fast system to connect directly with social service programs in local communities.  

That's what FoodRescue.ca is all about.



Anything is Possible
with great partners.



We would like to thank the very generous contributions of our supporters.

FoodRescue.ca Timeline


January 4 2017


Walmart Foundation Logo

Walmart Foundation awards $2M grant to develop Foodrescue.ca and pilot in Toronto.

October 2 2017

Pilot Expansion

Government of Ontario Logo

Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks grants $600k from public Budget Talks commitment to expand pilot to Kingston, Sudbury and Niagara Region.


January 1 2019

Ontario Expansion & Research

Walmart Foundation Logo

Walmart Foundation invests $1.8M to further expand use of FoodRescue.ca in Ontario and evaluate food recovery nationally.

May 2 2019


Toronto Foundation Logo

The Toronto Foundation funds $50,000 to deepen the impact of FoodRescue.ca in this community.

April 10 2019


General Mills USA Logo

General Mills USA grants $100k for staff and technology growth for national expansion.

June 2 2019


Alectra Utilities Corporation Logo

Alectra Utilities Corporation funds $20,000 for a local coordinator to instill use of FoodRescue.ca in this community.

June 11 2019

British Columbia Expansion

Loblaw Companies Limited Logo

Loblaw Companies Limited awards $415k to expand the reach of FoodRescue.ca into B.C.

September 1 2019

Mobile Expansion

Climate Action Fund Logo

Climate Action Fund commits to $150k for the development of a FoodRescue.ca mobile app, increasing program accessibility for food donors and recipients.



Second Harvest is known
for sharing.

Second Harvest logo


Over 1000 businesses donate surplus food to Second Harvest. We redistribute to hundreds of social service organizations that offer food programs in their communities.

Second Harvest is known for:

  • Providing fresh, healthy, perishable food for over 34,000 meals a day
  • Being a global thought-leader on redirecting unsold, excess food, providing environmental protection by reducing unnecessary waste.
  • Active participation in the development of Canada's National Food Policy
  • Averting 26M kgs of GHG emissions from entering the atmosphere in 2018
  • Providing educational resources, food safety training and certification
  • Instigating best practice  sharing among community food programs
  • Supporting 5 training kitchens (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 social service organizations and schools.


Food Donation

An offer of unsold, excess 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

These are our partners that are registered charities and incorporated not-for-profits that offer food programs to those experiencing food insecurity or provide nourishment in avenues such as schools, ensuring equal access to all.


Food Program

Meals, snacks, or food items which offer access to healthy, nutritious sustenance to the public as 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 also 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.