Grocery Rescue

No matter how efficient they are, grocery stores always have quality, but unsellable, food left over at the end of the day.

Heirloom tomatoes donated through the Grocery Rescue program.Whether it's yogurt approaching its sell-by date or a crop of apples that just didn’t catch their customers’ eyes, Food Lifeline’s Grocery Rescue program makes it easy for stores to donate this food, instead of throwing it away. This nationally lauded program gets highly valued foods, like milk, meat and produce, to people in need while also dramatically reducing good food from ending up in our landfills.  

Every year the Grocery Rescue program redirects an average of 16 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 13 million meals, from top grocery retailers like QFC, Fred Meyer, Walmart, Albertsons, Sam’s Club, Metropolitan Market, Whole Foods and Target.

How Grocery Rescue Works

Too often, an estimated 40% of the time, food that is wholesome and perfectly good to eat still ends up being wasted, including unsold food from grocery stores.

Prior to the launch of Food Lifeline’s Grocery Rescue in 2002, grocery stores didn’t have an easy solution for donating wholesome food that no longer met their selling standards. It was too difficult for them to know which food program in their area could pick up the food. Retailers also needed reporting and food safety guidelines that assured their donation was being handled correctly.

At the same time neighborhood food banks couldn’t give grocery store chains what they needed - one set of guidelines for all their stores in Western Washington. 

Grocery Rescue solves all these problems by developing donation guidelines and policies tailored to each grocery store chain. We then match them with the food program in their community who has received food safety training and specialized equipment from Food Lifeline.  

Now, every day of the week, trucks and vans from Food Lifeline and these neighborhood food banks pull up at grocery store docks and pick up their donations of wholesome food.

With Grocery Rescue, all the food your family buys at the grocery store, milk, lunch meats, potatoes and canned goods, can also make it quickly and efficiently into the homes of people in need all over Western Washington.

Current Grocery Rescue Retail Partners

  • QFC
  • Fred Meyer
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Whole Foods
  • Metropolitan Market
  • Sam’s Club
  • Albertsons
  • Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice 

A Rescue Mission

Chris Hartman and I are like explorers, on the search for the next big find.

Yolanda Finds a Home: Groceries for All!

Meet Yolanda, the yogurt cup. She lives in the grocery store and dreams of finding a home.

Riding Along with Grocery Rescue

As part of his Bank of America internship, Wylie Mao spent his summer working at Food Lifeline and learning about the work we do to stop hunger in Western Washington.