What Is Food Rescue?
How are you different from other food programs such as food banks or Meals on Wheels?
Forgotten Harvest Canada is the first food rescue program in Essex County. We focus on collecting fresh, perishable food that would otherwise be wasted without the resources to safely and quickly distribute it to other food programs throughout the county. The rescue process relies on refrigerated trucking to accomplish this just-in-time and frequent delivery service.
Food banks traditionally focus on non-perishable items such as canned and boxed goods, and typically store them in buildings until member agencies or clients can pick-up their monthly allotment.
Meals on Wheels programs buy food, prepare planned meals and deliver them to the homebound and elderly, normally at a cost. By comparison, Forgotten Harvest Canada delivers to agencies, rather than individuals, who in turn then serve vulnerable people of all ages. Food is collected and delivered at no cost to the food donor or the recipient charity.
Forgotten Harvest is a great idea. Where are there other food rescues?
The food rescue model has been in operation for over 25 years at places such as Second Harvest in Toronto, Forgotten Harvest in Detroit, City Harvest in New York and others in the U.S. and around the world.
What about food safety?
Handling food safely is of utmost concern to Forgotten Harvest Canada. All drivers and staff are trained and certified in safe food handling practices. To learn more about Forgotten Harvest’s Food Safety Guidelines for donations, click here.
To learn more about safe food storage in the home, click here for the Healthy Canadians page on Government of Canada website, and also on Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's Be Food Safe Canada Campaign.
Does Forgotten Harvest accept all kinds of food?
We can accept fresh food, refrigerated and frozen food, dried foods, food in boxes, bottles and cans. The only food that Forgotten Harvest cannot accept is food that has been served, or is deemed unsafe by our staff.
We cannot accept food that is
- Not from a regulated food company
- Home prepared food
- Foods that have been in the temperature danger zone for more than 2 hours
- Foods with damaged packaging, compromising its safety
- Produce with significant decay
- Frozen foods with freezer burn
- Stale bread or baked goods
- Sushi or seafood intended for raw consumption
- Product containing alcohol
- Open, punctured or bulging cans
Does Forgotten Harvest accept leftovers?
Forgotten Harvest cannot accept food that has been served, or on public buffet tables, or food deemed unsafe by our drivers and food safety staff. We collect surplus, unused, wholesome food that would otherwise be wasted from regulated food businesses, such as growers, produce markets, grocery stores, restaurants, commercial caterers, manufacturers and distributors.