Food Waste Resources During The COVID-19 Pandemic - ReFED


Food Waste Resources During The COVID-19 Pandemic - ReFED

March 20, 2020

While our number one concern is for the health of those affected by COVID-19, ReFED also recognizes that our collective response to this crisis - such as buying food in bulk to guard against potential disruptions in supply chains; the forced closures of schools, restaurants, and other organizations that serve food; and more - is increasing the amount of food waste. And in many cases, the food being wasted could have gone to the most vulnerable among us through recovery and distribution programs.

That’s why we’re working with our partners to highlight those organizations that can help ensure that excess food gets to the people who need it most. We’ll continue to update this list as we become aware of more resources. Please send us suggested organizations to include at [email protected].

We've also compiled a list of organizations that need financial and operational support right now in our Directory of Fundable Initiatives. You can access it here.

Register for our weekly online discussion series "Better Together: Food System Best Practices for Navigating COVID-19" here.

FIND Food Recovery Organizations NEAR YOU

ReFED's Food Waste Innovator Database provides contact information for nonprofit and commercial entities across the country that can rescue excess and unused food, and distribute it to food banks, pantries, meal programs, and more. If you're a food recovery organization and would like to be included in the database, please fill out an application here.


Find your local community food bank through this resource from Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Click here.

FIND A Food PANTRY NEAR YOU helps millions of backyard gardeners easily find a local food pantry to donate their extra garden produce. Use this online tool to find a food pantry near you.

Donate Excess Food to Institutions in Need

As institutions across the country close, they are left with excess food that could be donated as emergency food assistance. Download and share this handout from Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Center to get more information on food recovery resources and learn how businesses can donate their surplus food.


The U.S. EPA's Excess Food Opportunities Map shows food banks and other institutions that can accept donated or recovered foods.

LEARN Food Safety Guidelines

The U.S. FDA's Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 web page lists resources, Q&As, and guidance for industry members and consumers on COVID-19 food safety. 

DoorDash Delivery Support

ReFED’s partner DoorDash is providing at-cost and subsidized deliveries via its DoorDash Drive fulfillment service to nonprofit organizations, including schools, food pantries, and community-health centers. Click here.

Postmates food delivery FOR nonprofits

Postmates is using their fleet to help nonprofits to onboard and deliver supplies and food items during the pandemic. Nonprofit partners can onboard themselves using the link and enter themselves as “Special” and “Disaster Relief.” Then email [email protected] to receive discounted pricing from the email address they set up the account with.

ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow.

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