pans of prepared and catered food

MEAL CONNECT

Innovative technology makes it easy and safe for commercial food preparers to donate surplus food directly to local food shelves.

A Powerful Food Rescue Tool

Every day, commercial kitchens and food preparers discard thousands of pounds of excess food. Extra meals from a catered event. Unused food from the corporate cafeteria. Packaged items nearing their expiration date at manufacturers.

MealConnect gives these food manufacturers, restaurants, cafeterias and special event centers a safe, convenient and free way to donate their surplus food to neighbors in need. Last year, our Minnesota meal service partners donated 284,000 pounds of prepared foods.

Meal Connect app image

Bringing Supply and Demand Together

Using an innovative online platform created by Feeding America, MealConnect instantly connects those with excess food with local food shelves that are ready to accept, manage and distribute prepared food in the community.

Once a match is made, the app can even dispatch local volunteers to pick up and deliver the rescued meals to food shelves, community centers and other hunger relief agency partners.

How It Works

  1. Food donors find MealConnect via browser or its mobile app
  2. They enter specific donation information so a would-be recipient knows what is available
  3. The food is made available to participating hunger relief organizations, coordinated by Second Harvest Heartland
  4. A food safety-trained volunteer, either from a local organization or Second Harvest Heartland is dispatched to pick up the order for near-immediate use

Get Involved

Ready to support hunger relief in the heartland? Contact Jeremy Stickney, Food Service Sourcing Representative at Second Harvest Heartland, at 651-209-7915, or sign up online through the MealConnect website.

Sending Prepared Food to Tables, Not Landfills

This powerful tool helps commercial food preparers divert food that would otherwise go to waste to the tables of hungry neighbors.

2.9 billion

Pounds of food rescued across the country

+10,000

Hunger-relief organizations participating nationwide

50

States supporting MealConnect food rescue

Prepared food in commercial kitchen

MEALCONNECT MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Women's Shelter Gives Food a Second Chance

“We always talk about rescuing food. We’re not only saving so much money, but we’re just saving so much waste.”

-Michael Weiler, Food Services Manager at Haven House
A chef prepares food in commercial kitchen

WHY FOOD RESCUE DONORS PARTICIPATE

Spotlight on MealConnect Partners

Around the Twin Cities, a number of food retailers and restaurants support MealConnect and other food rescue programs as a way to reduce waste, improve sustainability and help end hunger.
kiwi and strawberries in a plastic container

YOU’RE PROTECTED

Donate Excess Food Worry-Free

When you donate in good faith, you’re protected from civil and criminal liability by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Donation Act. In addition, every non-profit partner who receives your donation maintains a certified food manager to ensure safe handling.

Questions About MealConnect?

We've Got Answers

From large retailers to small, family-owned restaurants, if you want to help hungry neighbors, there’s room for you in the MealConnect network. Our goal is to make it fast, simple and safe to move your excess food to a deserving non-profit in your local area. Many donations of product also are eligible for an enhanced tax deduction under IRS 170(C)(3). Please consult your tax advisor for details.

See Frequently Asked Questions