Mar 04, 2024
How Offices Can Partner with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to Hit Their Sustainability Goals

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.