RLC Blog
May 03 2024
May 03, 2024

One of the most common deterrents we hear regarding food donation is concerns around liability. Businesses that could make a world of difference often express a fear of accidentally donating expired food, resulting in illness or worse. This is a valid concern - but what many organizations don’t know is that protective legislation has been put in place, protecting donors from liability. 


Good deeds should, and can, go unpunished - thanks to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act. Here’s what you need to know. 


The act covers both prepared food and grocery products. It specifies a “person or gleaner” but a broad definition of “person” applies, which includes corporations, partnerships, organizations, and associations. Food trucks can donate. So can caterers. All these are considered a “person” under the act. 


The key to the act’s protection is the phrase “in good faith.” The products donated must be believed fit for consumption. As long as the food was not knowingly donated in a state that was inedible, any accident or misconception is protected. Negligence or intentional donation of unfit food is not protected. 


“Apparently fit grocery items” and “apparently wholesome food” may seem like broad criteria. To break down those terms, it essentially means that the donated items meet state or local health regulations. The food may not be marketable in appearance, size, or other aesthetic standards, and may not be quite as fresh as what is sold in store - all that is fine. But it absolutely must meet all quality and labeling standards, laws, and regulations, on all levels of government. 


The final key point of the act is that food must be donated specifically to people who need it. As long as it is reaching an organization that distributes it to people experiencing food insecurity, the act applies to the donation. 


So what are you waiting for? Check out our donate food page, and rest easy knowing that your donation is protected. 


Mar 04 2024
Mar 04, 2024

By Teri Silver

“Waste not, want not”—it’s not just a phrase our parents would say to get us to eat everything on our plates. About 40 percent of food produced and transported to the United States goes uneaten. These throw-aways take their toll, not only on natural resources but on our overall food budgets, especially in today’s inflating economy.

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword in a collective effort to be more ecologically sound. Small offices and large businesses can do their part in hitting sustainability goals by partnering with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine.

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine (RLC) distributes extra food to those who don’t otherwise get enough to eat. According to RLC, merely diverting about 15 percent of the food that would go wasted can cut the number of “food insecure” Americans by one-half. 

Business Sustainability

No matter the company size, a business’s sustainability practice refers to its strategy to reduce a negative impact on the environment. Sustainability is a method of controlling waste, but in some cases, environmental and social concerns may conflict with the company’s financial goals.

However, going “green” doesn’t have to be expensive. Inexpensive practices like sustainable landscaping can reduce a business’s carbon footprint, energy costs, and climate-related impact without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, cutting down and reusing food waste can help, too.

Large businesses, corporations, and warehouses often have in-house cafeterias that operate for the convenience of employees. If it doesn’t get purchased or consumed, business cafeterias, like public restaurants, end up throwing a lot of food away. 

In fact, restaurants and food services generated 13 million tons of extra food in 2022—more than 85 percent of that was incinerated or dumped in landfills.

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine Can Help

Partnering with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine can help your business meet its sustainability goals. RLC’s team will pick up excess food and deliver it to a nonprofit organization for distribution. With no minimum pound requirement and flexible scheduling, it’s a win-win for businesses and those who don’t get enough to eat.  

The benefits?

  • Qualified food vendors may receive a tax break through IRC Section 170(e)(3).

  • Giving away edible food reduces waste disposal costs and makes room in landfills. 

  • Supports community efforts to feed the food insecure, reduces methane gasses in landfills, and lessens the amount of wasted natural resources.   

  • Promotes your brand! Good public relations for good deeds helps to give your brand some positive karma.

Food Safety and Liability

Not every piece of uneaten food is still viable for consumption. But food purchased from licensed vendors and prepared according to food safety laws is worth looking at. Food donations to charitable organizations are protected under the federal government’s Food Donation Improvement Act

RLC wants your good food, but they don’t want stuff they can’t donate to feed others. These items include perishable foods past the use-by date (unless they’re frozen), unpasteurized milk, home-processed foods (like jarred pickles or fruits), rusty or damaged cans or torn containers that may be contaminated, and stuff that is spoiled or left out of the refrigerator for more than 4 hours.

Since 2013, RLC has provided over 12 million meals to those experiencing food insecurity. Bring your business’s sustainability efforts to real people who need real food. Contact Rescuing Leftover Cuisine for information on donating, volunteering, distributing, and receiving.  


Teri Silver is a journalist and outdoor enthusiast. She and her husband live on 5 acres with a vast lawn, three gardens, a farm, a pond, many trees, and a lot of yard work! The best parts of the year are summer and fall when home-grown veggies are on the dinner table.

Apr 11 2020
Apr 11, 2020

with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine during the COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are working extra hard in order to continue transporting healthy food to our Human Service Agency partners. It is extremely important that we continue to provide for those in need during this time, and here are the ways that ANYONE (yes, even you!) can support Rescue Leftover Cuisine.


Are ya feelin’ charitable? DONATE TO RLC:

RLC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Typically we rely on our Food Donor Partners to fund the cost of our organization through fee-for-service in lieu of relying on outside funding or grants. Due to business closures, without this income, we will be relying on donations to keep operations going during this crisis. To support RLC, please click here.

Are you awesome? VOLUNTEER:

  • Please sign up here to volunteer in Chicago, IL; Amarillo, TX; NYC; Atlanta, GA; Columbus, OH; Seattle, WA; Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

  • Educate eligible food Donor Partners, Recipient Organizations & Rescue Volunteers in your area. Email the RLC Branch Head in your area to collaborate.

  • Write about us: if you have a blog, have access to local media outlets or know someone who does, let’s collaborate: Robert@RescuingLeftoverCuisine.org

  • Please share this blog post via your Social Media.

  • Note: there are still food rescues happening in NYC and MA. Please check our calendar for updates.

    Eligibility, Sanitization & Safety for Rescuers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Please withdraw yourself from volunteering if you feel the slightest bit unwell. Please do not volunteer for rescues if you are over 60 years of age or are considered "at risk." If driving or using a rideshare, please sanitize areas of the vehicle where the food will be before heading to the Rescue Event. You must not come into physical contact with the food donor or recipient. Please maintain a 6 foot distance when picking up/dropping off the food to keep you and all others safe. We require all volunteers to wear gloves and use a mask or bandana.

Are you a (rockstar) Food Business? DONATE FOOD:

  • Some RLC Branches are providing One-Time Food Rescues free of charge in order to help local restaurants offload their food and get it to people who need food. 

  • Create your food donor account here and then email the RLC Branch Head in your area with “NEW FOOD DONOR” in the subject line. 

    Eligibility, Sanitization & Safety for Food Donor Partners during the COVID-19 pandemic:  We will not accept any buffet food until further notice. We will recover perishable and nonperishable ingredients and prepared food that is safe for consumption. We will only recover food from commercial, ServSafe Certified kitchens. We require all donors to wear gloves and use a mask or bandana. You must not come into physical contact with the volunteer. Please bring the food outside and maintain a 6 foot distance when to keep you and all others safe. 


Are you a Human Service Agency that needs food? LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN:

  • Email the RLC Branch Head in your area to collaborate. 

    Eligibility, Sanitization & Safety for Food Recipient Partners during the COVID-19 pandemic:  You will have proper storage available immediately upon receiving the food donation. You will accept perishable and nonperishable ingredients and prepared food that is safe for consumption. You will accept all recovered food from commercial, ServSafe Certified kitchens. We require all recipients to wear gloves and use a mask or bandana. You must not come into physical contact with the volunteer. Please meet our volunteer outside and maintain a 6 foot distance to keep you and all others safe.


Thank you for your interest in working with us to take part in Preventing wasted food, Providing for those in need and Preserving our environment.

With gratitude,
The RLC Team


For more information on how to get involved in areas RLC is operating, please email our RLC Branch Heads  

Jan 10 2020
Jan 10, 2020

We here at RLC wish you a very happy, safe, and healthy new year. Thank you so much for your generosity and support of us and our mission over the past year(s). We celebrate your commitment to preventing food waste and feeding the food insecure and couldn’t do anything we do without your friendship. Thank you.

We’re excited for 2020 and all the opportunities to give back and pay it forward. But as we enter the new year, 820 million people around the world still do not have enough to eat. In the US, food waste is estimated at between 30-40% of the food supply. More than 38 million people are living in poverty in America.

This new year, become involved and fight these age-old issues by volunteering with us to help those individuals who need it most. It is by having supporters – like you – bring food to human services agencies and homeless shelters throughout the city that RLC is able to cultivate relationships and bring together communities in a personal way to continue to help the hungry and eliminate food waste in our communities.

We thank you, thank you, and thank you again. We’re excited to see you in the new year. Happy 2020! πŸŽ‰


Best Wishes,

The RLC TeamπŸ’™

Nov 15 2019
Nov 15, 2019

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine wishes you a happy National Philanthropy Day!


National Philanthropy day has been around for 34 years! It was created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

What is National Philanthropy Day?

According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, “National Philanthropy Day is a special day set aside on the fifteenth of November. The purpose of this day is to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—to the enrichment of our world” (https://afpglobal.org/NPDLove). 


What does National Philanthropy Day mean to YOU?

First, to RLC, National Philanthropy day reminds us to thank the members of our community for helping us get closer to our goal of ending hunger by eliminating and redistributing excess food waste. We have rescued over 4 million pounds of food with the help from our donors and volunteers. Without our community we would not be serving meals every day to those in need- so thank you.

This day reminds us to keep in mind all of the non-profits working towards their missions and visions to help our world become a more equal place. There are so many organizations, big and small, and we are reminded that, like us, they saw an issue, an injustice, and are trying to create a solution. We commend all working towards their goals!


To celebrate the month of November, RLC is announcing our new paid opportunity

  • This program allows those to be PAID to give back to your community. If you’re interested in doing more, and earning some extra money check out our new Food Rescuer Program, in honor of National Philanthropy Day!


How to help Rescuing Leftover Cuisine observe this day:

Specific breakdowns of impact:

  • $10 allows RLC to feed over 80 people

  • $25 provides server space for our events to extend out two months rather than one

  • $40 buys a cart that will help our volunteers with heavy pickups and improve efficency by 50%

  • $600 provides transportation for one month for our Core Rescuers

  • $500 Sponsors one Core Rescuer to rescue over 5,000lbs of food for 4 months

  • $1,000 prevents 2 tons of C02 equivlanet from being emitted by food waste in landfills

  • $10,000 buys a used refrigerated van that will allow us to engage our larger partners that are currently on hold


What has been our nations impact for ALL philanthropy?

In the past decade, the chart below provides you with insight as to how the nonprofit organization GiveWell, documented giving back in 2009.  Monetarily, individuals in the United States gave back the most with a total of 226 Billion dollars donated, which was significantly larger compared to other portions of the chart.    


A decade later, what has changed?

According to National Philanthropic Trust, the amount that individuals gave in the United States in 2018 increased from the recorded amount of 2009, with Americans giving $427.71 billion in 2018.

Ultimately, National Philanthropy Day is important in that it recognizes the hard work of those who have volunteered. Events held in major cities, such as New York City, that celebrate National Philanthropy Day rightfully honor those who have given back to their communities. The fact that Americans have given back to their communities significantly over the past decade is meaningful. Those who have given back have earned their right to be honored on National Philanthropy Day.   


If you have a philanthropic story that you would like to share to be featured in a RLC blog post, please contact: mike.diamond@rescuingleftovercuisine.org


Nov 06 2019
Nov 06, 2019

Regulations and laws have acted as an obstacle in the world of food policy.  As a non-profit, social entrepreneur, or activist, sometimes legislation needs to be changed in order to make the impact that you envision. RLC’s mission is to make food rescue universal, and eliminate excess waste by giving it to those in need. Why are 1 in 7 people food insecure in our nation? And 1 in 9 people hungry, when 40% of the food in the US is thrown away. Why is that food not redistributed to those in need? These are questions that RLC asks, but is determined to make it right. One act in history that shows the impact of a passed legilslation is the Path Act of 2015. 

To summarize: The Path Act of 2015 helped make enhanced tax deductions for food donations permanent rather than being renewed retroactively each year. It also expanded the deduction to all corporate entities rather than just C Corps. 

But this is not enough, it does reveal that when legislation is made, there can be great impact. Making it easier for non-profits like Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to do our job.

Here are our thoughts of how our nation can reach this goal of universal food rescue:

  1. Make the calculation of the Food Donation Enhanced Tax Deduction simpler.
    • Rather than the calculation of the lesser of twice the basis cost or half the profit margin plus basis cost, we can have a conservative calculation that is simpler and allows more participation in filing for enhanced tax deductions for food donations. 

  2. Dispel all myths around legality of donation of food

    • It is important to clearly communicate the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996 and ensure that communications are aligned around food donations. 

      • This act specifically protects those from being liable when donating food to a non-profit organization. There is a lack of awareness and communication, as many companies in the US fear being liable of their food donations, when in fact they are protected under this act. 

  3. RLC fully supports the NYC Council initiative to have agencies and departments donate their excess food.

    • We believe that government agencies of all levels should lead the way in donating their excess food instead of throwing it away.   

RLC wants to keep this conversation going, and create awareness. Just because the proper legislation is not in place does not mean we should not fight for it in order to make it happen. 


Do you want to get involved & make a difference? Join Rescuing Leftover Cuisine's movement:

Sign Up to Volunteer                         Donate                    Join the Paid Food Rescuer Program                   

Nov 01 2019
Nov 01, 2019

Holiday Food Waste: Save the Pumpkins!
Heres how:

The sales of pumpkins increase greatly as the Fall season begins, but that also means the dsicarding and waste of them go up as well. With October coming to an end, it is important to make sure you know all of the festive fall pumpkin hacks that will help you reduce excess waste but also benefit your health.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that a SINGLE cup of pumpkin seeds can give a person  22% of a person’s recommended fiber, as pumpkin seeds have a LOT of vitamin- (vitamin K helps, blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels and more). 

Pumpkin Food Hacks:
Roast Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Remove your pumpkin seeds, and if they are covered in pup, clean them off! 

  2. Take your pumpkin seeds and spread them out on a cookie sheet until they dry (they will be wet from being inside the damp pumpkin) 

  3. Place sheet into the oven and roast them for 15-20 minutes until lightly crispy.


Face Mask: Pumpkin Skin Benefits, 

Pumpkins contain enzymes which promote cell turnover, brightens and boosts collagen too for baby soft skin. Whilst fatty acids form a barrier on the skin and increase hydration, the fruit’s zinc properties are great for acne and reducing excessive oil production. Make a face-mask out of pumpkin!


Hair Mask: Pumpkin Hair Benefits;

 Not only does it promote hair growth, but it’s an amazing conditioner for dried out locks. Whilst vitamin C strengthens hair follicles, vitamin E enhances blood circulation in the scalp. Make a hair mask out of pumpkin. 


If you want your idea to be featured on RLC's next waste hack submit your suggestions to: grace.accetta@rescuingleftovercuisine.org to be considered!

Nov 01 2019
Nov 01, 2019


It's November 1st and A LOT is happening in this month of giving, and we need your help! Similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, exciting splurging events are coming up, but why not splurge on giving back? There are various ways to get involved with RLC this month, so read below to find out how to help end hunger and excess waste across our nation! RLC has rescued 1.7million pounds of food in 2019 alone, and we are trying to double those numbers and there are various ways to get involved.



Becuase of this month of geneoristy and RLC's motivation to reach 2 million pounds, RLC created  brand new paid opportunities that will encourage even more to get involved and expand our community and grow our rescued pounds of food. 


  • With this new program you earn money as well as give back to your local community by signing up for what we call our food rescuer program. 
  • This program encourages those who are not able to donate huge chunks of their time to still getting involved, and helping RLC tackle the hunger and food waste crisis.


Become an RLC Ambassador for #GIVINGTUESDAY
What does this involve?
  1. Create your own fundraising page for the month of November

  2. Raise a minimum of $200

  3. Once you reach your goal, you will be rewarded with the RLC Ambassador title!

By becoming an ambassador not only do you get the title and loyalties that come with it, you also get to join the RLC community and support a mission to help those in need. We are all human and giving back is a testament to one another. This programs hopes to onboard and unite those who share the same vision of a world without hunger! 
#GivingTuesday is the BIGGEST giving moment in the world- and happens every Tuesday after Thanksgiving. #GivingTuesday is a technological giving movement, that was created to make giving back go viral.  Because this is a very busy month for RLC with various holidays and as the weather gets colder, we see more demand for food at our partner human services agencies.Whether that be a donation, or donating your time please choose to get involved.
 Because whether big or small, it all goes a long way to help diminish hunger and excess waste in our nation.
  • $10 allows RLC to feed over 80 people
  • $25 provides server space for our events to extend out two months rather than one
  • $40 buys a cart that will help our volunteers with heavy pickups and improve efficency by 50%
  • $600 provides transportation for one month for our Core Rescuers
  • $500 Sponsors one Core Rescuer to rescue over 5,000lbs of food for 4 months
  • $1,000 prevents 2 tons of C02 equivlanet from being emitted by food waste in landfills
  • $10,000 buys a used refrigerated van that will allow us to engage our larger partners that are currently on hold

GlobalGiving page on DECEMBER 3RD, because they are MATCHING all donations and gifts. Put it in your calendar, save the date, and tell your friends. Global Giving has a fund of $500,000 that they will be using to match gifts for #GivingTuesday, for first come first serve donations, their generosity is  circumstantial, so let's take advantage on this #GivingTuesday


                                                  OUR GLOBAL GIVING PAGE!




Oct 16 2019
Oct 16, 2019

It is a National Holiday for Rescuing Leftover Cuisine because….  It’s World Food Day!

World Food Day (WFD) was established in November of 1979 and is observed in more than 150 countries to raise awareness on the issues behind poverty and hunger. These age-old issues of food waste and food insecurity can be intimidating. But we have to stay engaged, informed, and involved to make a difference. Little by little, we can make a big change. 

World Food Day plays a big role in RLC, and you have been a part of that. Those in our community have supported and participated generously, and it has resulted in RLC rescuing 1 million pounds of food in the first half of the year! We are now expecting to double our numbers, so thank you for helping us make this impact. 

RLC is using World Food Day as a kick start to our Giving Season End of the Year campaign

RLC Giving Season: Get Involved!

RLC is excited to launch our Giving Season campaign, a time where your all of your donations can be matched. If you sign up to be a recurring donor, every single month your donations get matched! And if you donate during Giving Season that starts on #Giving Tuesday, December 3rd, and ends on December 31st, your support also gets compounded so we can continue rescuing leftover cuisine and donate even more pounds of food, feed food-insecure individuals even more nutritious and wholesome meals and make our world greener. 

Becoming an RLC Rep or RLC Ambassador!

And if you want to get even MORE involved, we’d LOVE to have you become either an RLC Ambassador or an RLC Rep! You’d be a face of the RLC Giving Season campaign for the rest of the year, letting anyone you know about RLC’s mission and how they can donate. Post it on your Instagram story, tweet about it, send your mom an email, and even let the person you’re holding the door for when they’re walking out Starbucks: “hey - ever heard of RLC? Check it out, donate, get involved during the holiday season!”.

Want to know more or you’re interested in being one? Great! Send an email to lauren.rha@rescuingleftovercuisine.org. She’s excited to answer any questions you have, give you the guidelines, and let you know the next steps so you can continue spreading the word. 

We here at RLC can’t thank you enough - thank you, thank you, thank YOU - for your support towards our mission. We can’t wait to hear from you soon. 


The RLC Team 

Oct 08 2019
Oct 08, 2019

Everyone can always use a little bit more money. 

Whether you're trying to pay down debt, looking to save some more, or getting ready for a down payment, extra cash can go a long way. A side hustle can be a game changer that'll make a difference for your budget while giving you the freedom to live the way you want. 

There are so many options nowadays, from driving with uber to even starting a dropshipping business on the side. With the internet and innovative companies disrupting traditional business models, you have many options. But while you're considering these options, why not do something that will truly make the world a better place? 

With Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, you can become a Food Rescuer and make $10/rescue. In an average of thirty minutes at each rescue, you would be going to a food donor partner of RLC's such as a restaurant and picking up their excess food. Your only job would then be to bring this excess food to the nearby RLC partnered homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or food pantry so that it is used to feed the hungry instead of going into the trash. You can pick and choose which ones you'd like to do, or even string these predetermined routes all up back to back to make the most efficient use of your time. Set up a weekly schedule if you want and do the same pickups each week so that you can guarantee your side cash and get paid instantly online directly into your account. Of course, you'll have to act fast as our food rescue pickups are first come, first served so sign up today! 

You'll be making a tremendous impact in fighting food waste and hunger. Nearly 40% of all food produced in this country is wasted while nearly 42 million Americans are food insecure. You can change the world while earning money. 

So, have a few minutes between classes? Have some time between shifts? Rescue with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine today by signing up for an account here and expressing interest in the Food Rescuer role or email us at foodrescuers@rescuingleftovercuisine.org. See you out there! 

Oct 01 2019
Oct 01, 2019

The best kind of events and parties are ‘Zero Waste’ events, and it really isn’t that hard, in fact it makes the event planning more fun. The  biggest obstacle with these events are finding the best companies and techniques to use, without it feeling like a burden. Follow Rescuing Leftover Cuisine's personal suggestions to make your event zero waste, and easy.


Save food that would other wise go to waste! Rescuing Leftover Cuisine has endless food agencies as partners, and rescuing food to use for your event is the best, and easiest way to go. There are many different companies to choose from depending on the cuisine you’re looking for, but RLC would be able to provide a hand selected list of our partners that specifically cater to your desires.This means you’re helping to save the environment from food waste pollution, while ensuring your guests delicious choices. Our legal and environmentally friendly way makes hosting a zero waste event easy. 

When you are choosing what kind of food to cater, you should gear your mind towards finger foods! Since finger foods are so small, they actually then do not require bulk orders of food or ingredients- instead of overordering, or overeating this is the best way to feed your guests. By having finger foods at events, that also automatically eliminates the use of silverware, and plates. Finger foods make it that much easier, to 1. Decrease your costs because you’re not buying excess utensils and 2. Create less waste of food and garbage, (also as a party planner it creates less visible clutter)! 

One example of a company to use is our food donor partner, Between the Bread, check them out, as their catering options are fantastic and you could also use their services through RLC! They cater small to large scale events, whether that be corporate, or personal use. 

If you're interested, just out some of their menues that they have to offer: Hors D'oeuvres, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Desert!

Images courtousey of the Between the Bread catering menu 


You can use nature! Instead of throwing out flowers from previous parties or events, it’s time to begin to reuse beautiful floral arrangements, and a company that has been able to create zero waste is ‘Repeat Roses.’ Repeat Roses has helped save more than 91 tons of waste from landfills, and are continuing to make a huge impact. Rescuing Leftover Cuisine does this with food, but you should not stop at food, since Repeat Roses has been able to do this with flowers, it is important to continue incorporating zero waste effort. Why should beautiful decorations go to waste? Repeat Roses is able to reuse these flowers to make a room stunning and memorable. Repeat Roses can fill out weddings, individual parties, corporate events, and more.

Check out Highlights of their work, and a step to step guide of how they work. 


Compost & Recycling Bins

And lastly, make it easier for your guests to know where they should toss away their garbage, by making sure you have compost and recycling bins at your party. 

A company that provides very clear garbage disposal bins is ‘Common Ground Compost’ They have “Paper Only,” “Trash Only,” “Compostables,” “Bottles & Cans Only.” This makes it easier for guests to toss away their garbage in the right places, and help you to compost at events. They also provide visual explanations upon request. Rather than having your guests trying to decipher between recycling and trash, which results in items ending up in the wrong place- Common Ground Compost, makes that issue almost non existent. In addition, they offer other services like proper education on how to engage with garbage, especially in New York City, 

Learn More!



Thank you for reading Resucing Leftover Cuisine's personal guide to a 'Zero Waste Party!' If you do happen to use some of our tips, reach out and send us pictures!





Aug 22 2019
Aug 22, 2019

According to State rankings by volunteer rate put together by the Corporation for National and Community Service, New York State is ranked 49th with only a 19.25% volunteerism rate in New York State. 

Now, time is a precious thing. I get it. But we could do better, and what better way to spend time than to help people with it?  

Everyone has heard that volunteering can be a truly rewarding experience. In some cases, some volunteers gain contacts helpful for their career, while others gain friendships with common interests. At the end of the day, volunteering boosts self-esteem, helps people feel the satisfaction of doing good, and brings together people from all kinds of backgrounds to get a common goal achieved. Here's what one of our volunteers had to say: 

My son, a rising high school junior at Dalton, has been doing food rescue this summer while he has been in the city. He really loves it and the people he has met along the way. A lot of college students have been his team leaders. RLC has really created a way for kids like those college students and my son who have busy school/sports/extracurricular activities to make maximum impact with the odd open hours they have available. I love it! We even rescued together a couple of times. Great mother/son bonding time! 
                                                                                            - Gina


But sometimes the process to start volunteering is made onerous. This is typically because although the intent of volunteerism is noble, the actuality is sometimes more urgent and higher priority things come up and volunteers are flaky. Volunteering comes last, and organizations that rely on volunteers to do their mission need to impose some standards to uphold their level of service. Thus a series of interviews, and a long-drawn out process becomes required for people to even become volunteers in some cases. 

We at Rescuing Leftover Cuisine have strived to strike a balance between making it easy (as easy as three clicks in fact!) to volunteer and ensuring that we are providing a consistent level of food rescue services for our food donors and human services agencies. Our volunteering is also short - just 30 minutes of someone's time to rescue food that would otherwise be in the trash. This allows even the busiest people with the craziest work schedules and life circumstances to be able to find a 30 minute timeslot on our calendar to give back. 

Once you're signed up, it's as easy as walking with a few bags of food: 


Whether you volunteer currently or not, give it a shot!  

I hope to see you out on a food rescue and help get our volunteerism up! 

- Robert Lee

Jul 09 2019
Jul 09, 2019

While RLC was formed and has roots in New York City, we are aiming to become a widely used solution to eliminate food waste in communities around the USA. We are proud to support RLC branches, with the latest in Columbus, OH. Terrence, Nicole and Genevieve, who have founded the Columbus branch, wrote to us to describe their motivation to tackle food insecurity and the process for setting up an RLC branch.

The team told us how food insecurity was identified as an issue, and described their personal connections to it:

“The Near-East side of Columbus is a vibrant neighborhood with lots of history and diversity, but many of the families and community agencies in the area have varying connections to food insecurity. One of our neighborhood leaders was reviewing national trends for addressing the problem of food waste and learned about Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. The idea to develop a Columbus branch was quickly embraced by our group. We discussed how each of us had been impacted by food insecurity and to now have the capacity to be a part of the solution is a wonderful opportunity.”

They described how their personal challenges motivated them to make a difference in their community:

“One of our team members was going through a difficult time and began to remind themselves that they could funnel that energy into something good… In [RLC], the answer to getting out of a personal slump was provided, but equally as important, an opportunity to make positive contributions to the city we love was borne.”

After identifying RLC as a solution for their community, the team began the process of setting up a branch, which they described to us:

“It has been a rewarding, yet challenging experience… Since starting our branch, we have found many within the city who support the efforts and are able to connect eliminating food waste… Like all new initiatives, it has been a labor of love to connect with vendors and identify the needs of local shelters, agencies for youth and elderly, and community centers to sustain our efforts… We were fortunate to have champions like Julialynne and Keith Walker who provide a weekly community meal through Bethany Presbyterian Church and have been our most consistent donors and partners… We look forward to engaging more volunteers and increasing our time in service to community agencies within our community. Eliminating food waste and hunger are significant goals… Yet, we also have an additional passion to remember the faces and community talents that can easily be overlooked or made to feel shame. Through service, we seek to understand the stories behind the epidemic of hunger and to remember that working to resolve this issue is the only option.”

It has been a great start for the newest RLC branch, and we are incredibly thankful for the awesome work of the Columbus team, who are making a real impact in their community, and will be supporting people for a long time in the future. As they said to us:

“The sky's the limit and we are reaching for it!”

May 24 2019
May 24, 2019

Exciting news! We were featured on the Rachael Ray Show! It was a surreal experience, and an absolute honor to be highlighted by Rachael Ray along with the incredible support from her foundation.

We are encouraged by all the kind words of support that have flooded in, and we remain committed to rescuing even more food on a regular basis so that more food insecure people can get a meal! 

Apr 12 2019
Apr 12, 2019

The little things add up, as does the rain in a drizzle, so that the little things amount to a big thing.

I like to share this Korean proverb because this truly applies to all aspects of our work at Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. We as an organization got started because we believe that smaller quantities of food that were not being picked up by other organizations could and should be rescued so that it could make a difference in someone's life.

We also believe that in a small amount of time, often just thirty minutes, a volunteer could bring much needed sustenance to someone who is hungry.

We believe the smaller homeless shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, and community centers that do not have the storage space to receive large donation sizes could also make large impact in their local communities. 

All of the small actions along this journey have contributed to Rescuing Leftover Cuisine rescuing a cumulative 3,100,000 pounds of food rescued and over 2.5 million meals provided to the hungry. Every little bit really adds up, and we want you to know that you can help. 

For this month, in celebrating the power of small, we have partnered with an initiative called 1Million1s. Every month, this initiative will choose an innovative, community-based non-profit organization founded by a Millennial. 1Million1s' members commit to monthly donations, starting at $1 per month, and the gifts are combined into one large donation that is donated to that month's recipient. This innovative way to engage Millennials and disrupt philanthropy while bringing new voices and resources to the table is inspiring. As Michael Doyle, one of the founders of this initiative says, "By building an online community and leveraging collective giving, every dollar really does make a difference.”

Join us in this little way, and contribute to making a big difference. 

Mar 20 2019
Mar 20, 2019

My personal journey in cooking for myself started when I started working full-time at JPMorgan. You see, I was fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough to have had a scholarship that paid for a meal plan all throughout college, but left to my own devices I made ham and cheese sandwiches I brought to work. 

After leaving my job at JPMorgan to work on Rescuing Leftover Cuisine full-time, I started to explore the most inexpensive ways to get meals taken care of, which involved a lot of pasta. Throughout the five years now that I've been full-time with RLC, I have learned a lot in the kitchen. My team can tell you all about my foibles in the kitchen (including things like scissors to a carrot)! 

So it would not be a surprise to you that I never owned an apron. When we were approached by a group that wanted to sell handcrafted aprons that provided jobs to women in poverty in India while supporting RLC with the profits from these aprons, I was blown away. Here's what they had to say: 

When you buy an apron, you're going to want to wear it as a cape. After all, you will have...

  • Reduced food waste
  • Fed 100 people a nutrition meal
  • Helped employ poor women, and 
  • Fed their families.

That's pretty super!!!

We’re Cooks Who Feed and we’re on a mission to fight hunger by reducing food waste.  We produce handcrafted aprons and for every apron sold, 100 people receive a nutritious meal.  We fulfill this promise by working with our charity partners who prevent food waste and provide meals to those in need.  We’re honored to have Rescuing Leftover Cuisine as one of our partner charities.

We put a lot of focus on running our business in an ethical manner. Some of the things we focus on are reducing our production waste, using scrap fabric for packaging instead of plastic and only using local, organic and sustainably sourced fabrics to make our aprons. We’re also socially responsible when it comes to our production team. We work with WORK+SHELTER, an NGO in India that hires women who live in poverty. The NGO provides these women with paid training, a fair wage, and income security. We’re proud to partner with WORK+SHELTER and work with their team of artisans exclusively to produce all of our products. 

Please consider supporting their kickstarter campaign

Join me in becoming a cook who feeds! 


Mar 07 2018
Mar 07, 2018

Pictured above are two bags filled with 30 pounds of bagels, donated by the Long Island Bagel Cafe in the Financial District to the NY Rescue Mission. 

The Long Island Bagel Cafe is a brand-new partner that started donating their extra bagels at closing time this past week. As we start to grow this particular route, our series of information sessions in the coming months will help us get the word out about what we do, get more people on board, and make sure that this extra food can make it to those in need.

And that is the core of our approach to food rescue: local, community-based, and sustainable. The routes are a quick and easy walk through a neighborhood, starting from one restaurant and ending at a particular homeless shelter or food bank. There are no minimum weight requirements; we carry anything and everything that is whole and would otherwise have gone to waste. And every little bit counts. 

As we continue to search for opportunities to grow the organization and make sure that no food in New York goes to waste, we are grateful for what we have achieved so far. And we are excited for what the future holds.