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The Rescue Brigade

More than 38 million people in America – a number that includes 12 million children – are food insecure. Every community in the country has families that are hungry. But at the same time, food itself is the number one component in our landfills, and one of the biggest sources of our greenhouse gas emissions.

When Leah Lizarondo learned that every year more than 40% of America’s food is wasted, she decided to do something about it. Today, she is the founder and CEO of 412 Rescue in Pittsburgh, built around an app, a real-world kitchen, and a food rescue mission. Every morning a small fleet of trucks travels the city loading up at supermarkets, restaurants and wholesale providers. Drivers pick up crates of pineapples, dozens of fresh chickens, pallets of baked goods, gallons of milk – all fresh and all destined for the trash. The food is dropped off at churches, soup kitchens and senior centers, or taken back to the 412 Kitchen to be turned into individual grocery bags and meals.

To date, 412 Rescue has salvaged nearly 100 million pounds of food. It’s a heart-felt story of a small army of volunteers saving food and getting it to the people who need it.

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