412 Food Rescue helps feed Pittsburghers in need year round

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – What many call giving season, but one organization says giving is happening all year round.

Several times a week, crates of food are moved down the corridors of UPMC Passavant and loaded into vehicles. Thanks to 412 Food Rescue, that food gets to locals in need.

“When we receive food from donors, it usually stays in the area, in the community. Donors love it too. They want to know their contribution helps their neighbors.” says Jennifer England, Chief Operating Officer of 412 Food Rescue.

This nonprofit has partnerships with many local businesses, groups and hospitals, including UPMC.

Anyone can volunteer at any time thanks to 412 Food Rescue’s app, which can be easily downloaded to your phone.

“This is homegrown technology developed by software engineers and Pittsburgh locals and is now used by 16 other organizations,” England says.

412 Food Rescue Volunteer Jan Williams said, “It started with one rescue per week and literally skyrocketed to 20 rescues per week.

Williams has volunteered for 412 Food Rescue for years, and she says what she got in return changed her life.

“When we bring food to a place, it lights up the faces of people who need it. Some people are hit harder than others,” Williams said.

And rescue isn’t just about helping people. The environment will be better too.

Nonprofits say that in many cases the food that is collected will be thrown away if not donated.

“If you think about every restaurant, every grocery store, every hospital or school, food waste is everywhere, and sometimes it’s just a little tray,” England said.

On a recent trip, volunteer Jan and her helpers delivered muffins, fruit cups and other items from UPMC Passavant to the North Hills skyscrapers. Kim Reiner, who works at UPMC, is the one who holds it all together.

“It gives you a good feeling. Knowing you’re helping someone in need makes you feel good,” Reiner said.

In this case, it was not the amount donated that mattered, but the time spent making this delivery happen.

“Whatever is offered helps someone, from an individual to a community,” Williams said.

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