I am in need of food assistance. Can I get food from you?
We do not have food at our office because we redistribute food directly from the food donor to the recipient site. Our community resources page lists local food resources (hot meals and pantries), shelters, medical, and legal resources. For more resources, check out: https://www.auntbertha.com/
Hunger Free Colorado has more information about food resources at 855-855-2626.
Can I donate food to you?
We can not accept food at our office at this time.
If you are a gardener and want to donate your homegrown produce, This year we will continue to accept donations from backyard gardeners and local farms, and we’re adapting the program. Instead of signing up through an app, we ask that the donations get dropped off at one of our recipient sites around town.
If you have an apple tree or other fruit tree that you would like to donate from or woud like support with, reach out to Community Fruit Rescue.
If you are looking to donate pantry items, the best place to take them is to one of these two places, who are both recipients of BFR food.
What do you do?
Boulder Food Rescue is a nonprofit food justice organization that aims to create a more just and less wasteful food system. We do this through the redistribution of healthy food that would otherwise be wasted from grocery stores to communities living with low-income, by bicycle.
Since 2011, over 3 million pounds of landfill-bound food has been redistributed, reaching 17,000 people annually.
Who donates and where does the food go?
Currently, our 150+ volunteers move 1,500 pounds of produce daily from 21 grocery stores and restaurants to 38 different recipient sites around Boulder.
The food is delivered directly to food pantries and other nonprofits distributing food, as well as our No-Cost Grocery Programs at low-income housing sites, daycares, and schools. Resident leaders coordinate with neighbors to distribute food in their own communities, bypassing barriers to accessing that food.
To see a full list of our donors and recipient sites, visit our Partner Page.
What types of food do you rescue and deliver?
We focus on uncut fruits and vegetables and occasionally redistribute other grocery items.
Why is biking a part of BFR?
We don’t have a centralized sorting facility because by the time the produce gets there, sorted and moved back out, it would not longer be edible. Therefore, our model is to take fresh produce directly to where it will be consumed that day, minimizing the time it travels. Often, recipient locations are only blocks away from grocery stores, so in order to minimize our environmental footprint, we wanted to do as much as possible by bicycle. The other benefit has been a rock-star volunteer community and more engagement around bicycle commuting in general!
Do I have to bike to volunteer as a courier?
No! We have some shifts that are available to be done by car, and especially in a pinch, heavy loads, or in the snow. We appreciate all of our volunteers who drive as well. Also, we strive to create an inclusive community in which anyone feels welcome to contribute. We attempt to match each new volunteer with activities best suited to their capabilities and desires, and provide skills-based volunteering opportunities, beyond the physical distribution of food.
Join us for a New Volunteer Orientation to get started.
How can I support your work?
Thanks for your interest in supporting local food justice! Some ways to get involved are: volunteering, donating financially or in-kind, sharing our work with your friends, or joining us for our annual Food Rescue Feast fundraiser!
What is food justice?
Equality: The assumption is that everyone benefits from the same support. Everyone gets equal treatment.
Equity: Everyone gets the supports they need.
Justice: Removes the barriers that create inequalities.
Due to systems of injustice, there is unequal access to food depending on someone’s identities, life circumstances and more. We work towards health equity, by supporting communities that currently do not have access to healthy food to have more access to healthy food. We do this by focusing on redistributing produce while simultaneously reducing barriers such as time, lack of control and power over resources, transportation, and paperwork. We aim to work towards food justice, by utilizing the relationships we have built in the community to build power in the movement to address why people are food insecure in the first place: lack of access to living wages.
Are donors held liable for donating food?
A federal law exists which protects donors of food from liability: the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
Passed in 1996, this law states that an individual or company “shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food or an apparently fit grocery product donate[d] in good faith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to needy individuals” except in cases of “gross negligence or intentional misconduct” . The Bill Emerson Act hasn’t been tested in court yet, i.e., there isn’t relevant case law in any state. However, it is a broadly written federal bill and offers strong protection for good faith donors.
There are several good summaries online about the bill & its implications: