Food Finders is a multiregional food bank and food rescue program headquartered in Signal Hill, California. Organization volunteers and staff pick up hundreds donated food from hundreds of local grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants and produce markets and distribute it directly to missions, shelters and social service agencies on a same-day basis. On average, Food Finders helps provide 40,000 meals a day, reducing the amount of food insecurity prevalent throughout Southern California and ensuring that hundreds of thousands of pounds of food gets to those who need it each month.
Food Finders was founded in 1989 by Arlene Mercer, who was concerned about the amount of food being thrown away rather than donated by local food merchants and grocers. Inspired to end the waste, she began forming liaisons with local vendors and seeking shelters that could use good, wholesome food to feed needy and impoverished families, children and elderly.
Once established, what was a kitchen-table business grew into what is now a multi-regional food bank that helps provide daily meals to more than 270 agencies and shelters throughout Southern California. With 9 employees and more than 300 volunteers, Food Finders has rescued nearly 100 million pounds of food to date, in addition to referring thousands of families to local shelters and agencies where meals are provided. And unlike a typical food bank, instead of being warehoused, food is delivered same-day, so it’s fresh and ready to serve or hand out. The organization also does its best to keep delivery volunteers within their own neighborhoods to keep its our carbon footprint is also small, and is helping businesses in the food industry stay compliant with waste mandates.
Visit the Food Finders website to learn how this organization is connecting fresh food with those in need!