Rescuing Leftover Cuisine

About Rescuing Leftover Cuisine

A nonprofit who redistributes excess food to feed people experiencing food insecurity.

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine (RLC) is a nonprofit organization that redistributes surplus consumable food to feed people, not landfills. Forty percent of all food in the US ends up being thrown away. Yet with this being the case, one of eight Americans is food insecure. RLC’s pitch is if they can help divert this food waste stream by just fifteen percent, then they would be able to reduce the number of food-insecure Americans by up to fifty percent. Starting in 2013 the RLC has already recovered over seven million pounds of food and has created over six million meals. With headquarters in New York City, the RLC also has branches in the large cities of Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Columbus, and Dallas, as well as nearby states with Rhode Island and Massachusetts. RLC crowdsources community members as volunteer “Rescuers” who rescue leftover cuisine from businesses and deliver it to nonprofits that serve people who are hungry and food insecure.

One of these community members is Peter Babi. As one of RLC’s most committed Rescuers, Peter started volunteering with RLC in 2019. He has single-handedly rescued 27K pounds of food, the most of any RLC Massachusetts Rescuer. This has provided 22.5K meals via 526 individual “Rescues.”  “I’m always thinking, if I go back to Uganda, this is the first thing I’m doing…that’s how impactful RLC has been on me,” said Peter during a recent interview at Dig, where he rescues regularly. “The first day I volunteered, that was truly remarkable. I remember the joy of the people I took the food to…You would see families coming out, it was emotional, it was appreciated, it was spectacular.”

As a national nonprofit that has redistributed over eight million pounds of food, RLC has rescued over 800K pounds of food in Massachusetts, comprising over 665.5K meals to date. What is even more impressive is that this was achieved by over nine hundred Rescuers who completed over 14.8K “Rescue Events” hosted by the organization. “Each Rescue Event averages one hour of time to volunteer, and results in an average of forty pounds of food rescued, comprising thirty-three meals. That is time well spent,” says Dana Siles, the Massachusetts, and Rhode Island Branch Manager of RLC. The Rescuer(s) pick up the food from the donor partner, and, making no stops in-between to ensure food safety, deliver it at no cost to one of RLC’s nonprofit partners. Since there is no minimum requirement of shifts, RLC Rescuers like Peter sign up for Events that can be worked into their schedule on a recurring or sporadic basis. Babi’s most common Rescue is at Dig Inn in Harvard Square, delivering to The Salvation Army in Cambridge, MA.

“Rescuing Leftover Cuisine has been a key part in allowing Dig’s food to reach further and to make a larger impact on the communities we serve. RLC has demonstrated excellent organization and commitment to serving the broader Boston community, and we are grateful for this partnership.”– Doh Byun, Dig Inn

“This is truly a team effort, one Rescue at a time. We would not be “Rescuing Leftover Cuisine” without our food donor and nonprofit partners, or without Peter Babi and so many other Rescuers who literally go the extra mile to volunteer with our organization,” said Siles, “We are grateful for Peter’s kindness. He is an inspiring person – working full time as a caregiver, studying to be a physical therapist assistant, and still squeezing in time to volunteer regularly!”

Peter concludes, “I am proud of that achievement, and I am just looking forward to doing more. We need organizations like this which are more human-related than money-related. I am glad to be part of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine.”



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