Rescue Runner: Helping ensure zero food goes to waste

In South Louisiana, we’re blessed with some of the best food and restaurants in the world. But, one big problem is the meals that go to waste when extra food is left at the end of the business day.

That’s where our new Rescue Runner program comes in. Rescue Runner utilizes an online app to allow local restaurants, hotels, and event spaces in Greater New Orleans, Lafayette, and Lake Charles to contact on-call mobile volunteers. These volunteers quickly respond to pick up the extra food and deliver it to one of our many community partners.

Each Rescue Runner volunteer is trained in food-safety requirements, and they are equipped with custom-designed warmers to keep the donated restaurant food at a safe temperature.

“Until now, we haven’t had an efficient way to pick up extra prepared meals, especially after-hours,” said Second Harvest Food Sourcing Manager Emily Slazer. “Now we can rescue those meals, and make them readily available to people in need at our partner shelters and soup kitchens. Food that would go into a landfill is ending up on someone’s plate that same day.”

These nutritious meals are making a big difference for the people we serve. Jerry, a participant in the Discipleship Program at the New Orleans Mission, says, “A lot of people here are very grateful for the food. This food is a blessing.”

Rescue Runner is possible thanks to your financial donations, and because of major support from Shipt for this new program to prevent food waste.

More than 40% of all the food produced in America winds up in landfills. Rescue Runner is yet another way our team and volunteers are making a difference in getting some of that perfectly good food to those who need it most.

If you would like to volunteer or learn more, please visit

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