Food Rescue Program

The White Pony Express Food Rescue Program partners with grocery stores, farmers markets, school lunch providers and other food retailers to pick up and deliver high-quality surplus food to local 501(c)(3) organizations serving those in need in Contra Costa County. We operate 7 days a week, from 7am-10pm.

Our all-volunteer food rescue program is simple and efficient. Food donors schedule daily and weekly pickups, or contact the WPE Hotline as surplus food becomes available. Dispatchers check messages from 9am-9pm, then assign “runners” to pick up the donation promptly (or as pre-scheduled with the donor), and deliver it to one of our recipient organizations, free of charge.

WPE’s Food Rescue Program currently partners with 50+ nonprofits to help feed friends in need throughout Contra Costa County. See a full list of our Community Partners here. WPE redistributes food from more than 100 donors. See a full list of our Food Donors here. California and federal laws exempt all food service donors from civil and criminal liability. Learn more about legal protection for food donors here.

Our Food Rescue Program Meets the Community’s Need in Four Ways

1. Responsiveness

Our program is designed to be as responsive as possible to the needs of our recipients. Each morning we post a chart in the distribution area that details the foods preferred by each recipient and those things they cannot use. To complement these charts, our dispatcher calls our recipients to ask if there is anything in particular they would like or would prefer not to receive that day.

2. Fast

Deliveries are generally made within 2 hours of receiving the donor’s call. We pick up and deliver high-quality food, while it is still fresh, tailoring deliveries to meet our recipients’ schedules

3. Fresh

Our direct distribution model and use of refrigerated vehicles allows us to collect and deliver large amounts of fresh produce and other perishables quickly, while they are still in prime condition. These are the much-needed items most frequently requested by our recipients.

4. Free

Our program is staffed 100% by volunteers, and our service is provided free to both donors and recipients.

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