frequently asked questions

If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Have some questions about us? Wondering how to donate or receive food? Interested in learning how you can play a role to end food waste and hunger in our communities? Check out our FAQs and answers below.

What is Last Mile Food Rescue?

Founded as a direct response to the disconnect between food waste, hunger and environmental sustainability in the Greater Cincinnati area, Last Mile Food Rescue brings perfectly good surplus food to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity. Volunteers use their own cars to transport this food from Food Donors to nonprofit partners through our innovative mobile app.

Why end food waste?

We waste up to 40% of our food while 1 in 5 struggle with food insecurity. According to the United Nations, if we recover all the food that is lost or wasted, we will have enough to feed all who are hungry four times over. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 97% of food waste generated ends up in the landfill. This comprises the single largest component of municipal solid waste, generating a large portion of U.S. methane emissions—a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

How does Last Mile Food Rescue work?

Last Mile Food Rescue works with local food businesses and retailers (grocery stores, restaurants, wholesalers, etc.) by rescuing their surplus food and transporting it directly to nonprofit and community-based organizations (shelters, pantries, senior centers, housing authority sites, etc.) where the food is provided to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity.

Our Food Rescue Hero volunteers are at the core of Last Mile Food Rescue’s success.

How can I volunteer for Last Mile Food Rescue?

There are multiple ways to volunteer with Last Mile Food Rescue! Check out how to volunteer.

If you do not have the capacity to volunteer your time as a food rescue driver, you can also support Last Mile Food Rescue by volunteering to help with admin work, advocating for us in your community, and/or contributing financially to support our work! Have more questions? Email us at [email protected].

How is Last Mile Food Rescue different from a food bank?

Last Mile Food Rescue does not bank food. Rather, we complement food banks, pantries and other hunger relief organizations by rapidly and directly transferring surplus food from the source to the recipient. About half of the food we rescue is highly perishable. By picking up and delivering all within 90 minutes, we can efficiently ensure this food is being used quickly, often dropped off in the morning and used by that evening.

How does Last Mile Food Rescue ensure food goes to the people who need it?

Prior to being placed, food donations are vetted through a personal contact at the receiving organization. This helps ensure that we are not only delivering food that people want, but also in a realistic quantity that can be served quickly.

Do you have a nutrition policy?

We focus on rescuing food that has high nutritional value like produce, protein, and dairy. We do not accept soda, candy, or sugary cakes and cookies as stand-alone donations.

Are food donations tax deductible?

YES! At the end of each year, our Food Donors receive a report on their donations, which includes information required to receive tax incentives including the full benefits provided by the PATH Act.