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Get Food

We rescue enough food to provide an average of 205,000 meals to Canadians every day.

Fuel people. Reduce waste.

If you’re a charity or non-profit in Canada, we’re here to help you access surplus food in your community. Second Harvest works with 4,400 charitable partners across the country to provide them with healthy surplus food from our food donors.

Our diverse network includes:

  • Community organizations  
  • Food banks and hamper programs  
  • Indigenous communities  
  • Shelters and transitional homes
  • Meal program and drop-in centres  
  • Before school, after school and summer camp programs  
  • Faith-based organizations 

By rescuing good, edible food from businesses, we collectively reduce the harsh environmental impacts of letting good food go to waste while feeding people across Canada.

Second Harvest Food Rescue App

How it works

  1. To start, register on our app. Please note that our GTA delivery program currently has a waitlist.  
  2. You’ll get an email when a business in your area has surplus food to donate. If you can use this food, claim that donation.
  3. We’ll send you a notice that you’ve successfully claimed the donation.  
  4. Go to the donor location during the set time window to pick up your food. Make sure you have coolers and ice packs for any food that is refrigerated or frozen.   
  5. Bring the food back to your organization and use it in your programming. 
Join the App

Get in Touch

We’d love for you to join our network as a food donor or recipient non-profit organization. Connect with our team today or join on the app to get started right away.

Still want to know more?

Check out our FAQs to learn more about food rescue and the importance of ensuring good food gets to people’s plates, not landfill. You can also visit our Resource Library for lots of great food donation info and tools.  

Contact us
Rescued food is just like any other food. In Canada we waste 11.2 million metric tonnes of good, edible food every year. This food is perfectly good to eat, but because we lack a cohesive rescue system, it ends up in landfill instead of on our plates.

Second Harvest takes food safety seriously and we ask that food donors and recipient organizations comply with Second Harvest’s donation and recovery guidelines. All facilities need to be up to date with local public health requirements and safe food handler’s training. We also offer  information to help everyone make the most effective food rescues possible. Second Harvest has many resources to help you donate, rescue, and store surplus food. Check out our Resource Library for more helpful info.
We take food safety seriously and ask that food donors and recipient organizations comply with their provincial or territorial food safety requirements. All facilities need to be up to date with health inspections and food safe handling training for anyone who prepares food.    

Our training and education programs provide tools, training and safe food handler certification to our non-profit partners, ensuring they meet and exceed food safety standards.   
Any food that is safe to eat can be donated. Check out our Best Before Date Timetable for a quick guide on when foods can be donated and consumed. Additionally, to ensure everyone’s safety, these foods cannot be donated:
  • Leftover food that has been plated and served, including salad bar ingredients that are exposed to public touch  
  • Prepared food that has been in the temperature danger zone for  2 hours or more  
  • Food or drinks with alcohol and/or medicinal ingredients  
  • Packaged food that’s been opened or has a broken seal  
  • Sushi  
  • Food from people’s homes  
With our food rescue app, it’s easy! We’re a charity just trying to make the world a better place. You can join us, but you never have to claim a donation if you don’t want to. You can always turn your notifications on or off to suit your needs.   

We’re an environmental organization, so we’ve set minimums for sending a Second Harvest truck. Organizations in Toronto wishing to take part in our direct delivery program must commit to taking 200 pound of food per week.   

Of course, our food rescue programs are always free for our valued network partners.   
Donations come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the business. A farmer may have thousands of pounds of carrots to donate at the end of a season, while a café may have a few sandwiches to donate each workday. Our food rescue model puts the choice in your hands, so that you can see donations in your area and select the ones that are right for you. Don’t worry if you see something that you can’t use. We can be sure that there is another organization who will be a great fit.
To make the system as simple as possible, non-profits must claim and pick up the entire donation that is posted by the business. If you don’t have the capacity to pick up the full donation, you can leave it for another organization who will.   

If you’ve claimed a donation but later learned that you can’t use the food, make the pickup then share the food with your network. Committing to donations that you’ve claimed helps keep businesses donating.   
Any charity or non-profit, including remote or indigenous communities from across Canada can join the app. We are proud to support everything from shelters providing meals to their residents, to indigenous communities who connect members over a food distribution day. If you are non-profit and need food, we hope we can help.
Absolutely. Second Harvest values and prioritizes your existing partnerships. We’re here to enhance them when we can, while allowing you to track your impact along the way. If you’d like to get your donor registered, let them know about the app and ask them to sign up. They can create a special donation just for you.  

For more information, reach out to us.

Testimonials

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Burgeo First Nation was fortunate to work with Second Harvest. We were able to service the communities of Burgeo, Ramea, Grey River, and Francois. This program was widely accepted by these communities with much gratitude during this pandemic. Thank you to all involved at Second Harvest for making this happen! 

Chief Elaine Ingram
Burgeo First Nation 
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The hampers that we can offer guests at the Avenue Road Food Bank are always enriched by the excellent, high-quality produce, meats and treats Second Harvest offers. They help to raise our hampers from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We are so grateful.

Tove Fynbo
Avenue Road Food Bank
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The donated food we received helped relieve the stress and provided some great meals for hundreds of kids. The support has allowed us to work more closely with our inner-city schools and provided them with additional resources. It has also strengthened our relationship with the staff.

DonnaLyn Thorsteinson
Saskatoon Public School Foundation