Grocery Rescue

The innovative grocery rescue program presented by The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation is fundamental to the mission of Forgotten Harvest. Annually, between 30-40% of the food produced in the U.S. is wasted — it’s the job of Forgotten Harvest to find where that perfectly good food is being wasted and ensure it reaches the most vulnerable in metro Detroit.

The Forgotten Harvest fleet drives approximately 80,000 miles annually to rescue a variety of fresh produce, fruits, grains, and more — food that is often unaffordable or out of reach for those in need. While the grocery rescue program provides a nutritious supply of fresh food to the community, it is also beneficial to the environment. Every year, over 100 billion pounds of food is wasted, generating Methane, which the EPA reports is “more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.” It also has economic implications. Aside from the costs to remove and transport the waste, the estimated value of this wasted food is $408 billion.

To ensure this program continues supporting the 1 in 6 who face hunger in metro Detroit, Forgotten Harvest offers multiple opportunities for programmatic support.

Mobile Pantry & Forgotten Harvest ON-THE-GO

The Forgotten Harvest mobile pantry program addresses the need to get more nutritious fresh food into the diets of food-insecure residents in high-poverty, under-served metro Detroit neighborhoods.

Currently, Forgotten Harvest has 68 permanent mobile pantry partners throughout Southeast Michigan, with additional partners through the On-The-Go pop-up distribution program. Each mobile pantry and On-The-Go site provide between 120 – 750 families with essential perishable items like produce, fruits, and grains weekly or bi-weekly.

To effectively plan mobile pantry distributions and partnerships, Forgotten Harvest uses food-insecurity mapping to evaluate areas of high need and determine the appropriate quantity, mix, and flow of food into the area. This data-driven approach allows Forgotten Harvest to develop local partnerships to target food distribution where it’s needed the most.

Supporting the mobile pantry and On-The-Go program helps underwrite the operational costs of transporting and procuring the food, truck maintenance, and staffing.

Volunteer Rescue Team

The Forgotten Harvest volunteer program recruits and manages the work of over 15,000 volunteers annually who provide more than 71,000 hours of service critical to the success of the mission. Their service allows Forgotten Harvest to accept tractor-trailer loads of fresh food, often packed in 700 lb. totes, and repack that food into individual and family-sized quantities, making it ready for distribution.

Volunteers in our warehouse also have the opportunity to create non-perishable family-sized boxes from the rescued dry goods we have on hand.

During the spring, summer, and fall, approximately 3,000 volunteers assist with planting and harvesting a variety of fruits and vegetables at the 95-acre Forgotten Harvest farm in Fenton.

During the summer, volunteers in our warehouse play a vital role making or packaging thousands of lunches that we then distribute to food-insecure children attending summer programs.

Forgotten Harvest’s volunteer program is integral to our food rescue program; without our volunteers, thousands of food-insecure residents, particularly at-risk children and low-income seniors, would not benefit from our fresh, nutritious food.

Grocery Rescue

The innovative grocery rescue program presented by The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation is fundamental to the mission of Forgotten Harvest. Annually, between 30-40% of the food produced in the U.S. is wasted — it’s the job of Forgotten Harvest to find where that perfectly good food is being wasted and ensure it reaches the most vulnerable in metro Detroit.

The Forgotten Harvest fleet drives approximately 80,000 miles annually to rescue a variety of fresh produce, fruits, grains, and more — food that is often unaffordable or out of reach for those in need. While the grocery rescue program provides a nutritious supply of fresh food to the community, it is also beneficial to the environment. Every year, over 100 billion pounds of food is wasted, generating Methane, which the EPA reports is “more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.” It also has economic implications. Aside from the costs to remove and transport the waste, the estimated value of this wasted food is $408 billion.

To ensure this program continues supporting the 1 in 6 who face hunger in metro Detroit, Forgotten Harvest offers multiple opportunities for programmatic support.

Mobile Pantry & Forgotten Harvest ON-THE-GO

The Forgotten Harvest mobile pantry program addresses the need to get more nutritious fresh food into the diets of food-insecure residents in high-poverty, under-served metro Detroit neighborhoods.

Currently, Forgotten Harvest has 68 permanent mobile pantry partners throughout Southeast Michigan, with additional partners through the On-The-Go pop-up distribution program. Each mobile pantry and On-The-Go site provide between 120 – 750 families with essential perishable items like produce, fruits, and grains weekly or bi-weekly.

To effectively plan mobile pantry distributions and partnerships, Forgotten Harvest uses food-insecurity mapping to evaluate areas of high need and determine the appropriate quantity, mix, and flow of food into the area. This data-driven approach allows Forgotten Harvest to develop local partnerships to target food distribution where it’s needed the most.

Supporting the mobile pantry and On-The-Go program helps underwrite the operational costs of transporting and procuring the food, truck maintenance, and staffing.

Volunteer Rescue Team

The Forgotten Harvest volunteer program recruits and manages the work of over 15,000 volunteers annually who provide more than 71,000 hours of service critical to the success of the mission. Their service allows Forgotten Harvest to accept tractor-trailer loads of fresh food, often packed in 700 lb. totes, and repack that food into individual and family-sized quantities, making it ready for distribution.

Volunteers in our warehouse also have the opportunity to create non-perishable family-sized boxes from the rescued dry goods we have on hand.

During the spring, summer, and fall, approximately 3,000 volunteers assist with planting and harvesting a variety of fruits and vegetables at the 95-acre Forgotten Harvest farm in Fenton.

During the summer, volunteers in our warehouse play a vital role making or packaging thousands of lunches that we then distribute to food-insecure children attending summer programs.

Forgotten Harvest’s volunteer program is integral to our food rescue program; without our volunteers, thousands of food-insecure residents, particularly at-risk children and low-income seniors, would not benefit from our fresh, nutritious food.

Harvest Heroes - Volunteer Rescue Team

Forgotten Harvest trucks traverse the metro Detroit community five days a week, rescuing food from various sources, but some pickup requests are too small to send a box truck — that’s where Harvest Heroes comes to the rescue.

A team of 25 volunteers, using their vehicles, hit the road weekly, making stops at independent grocers, caterers, restaurants, and many others. The volunteers then deliver the food to nearby pantries. With the support of this volunteer team, Forgotten Harvest rescued an additional 300,000 lbs. of food in 2021.

School Pantry

The school pantry program enables Forgotten Harvest to target distribution to vulnerable families with children where they are already gathering — at agencies with early childhood education programs and schools.

 As a result, nutritious food can nourish children in the evenings, on weekends, and during school vacations when they lose access to school-funded food programs.
Over the past five years, Forgotten Harvest provided enough fresh food for nearly 2,000,000 meals to its seven partners.

Summer Lunch

The summer lunch program provides healthy lunches to metro Detroit children who need emergency food during the summer when they lose access to school-subsidized meal programs. On average, Forgotten Harvest provides approximately 100,000 lunches to over 20,000 children throughout metro Detroit every summer. Distribution is targeted to key community partners with the most significant number of at-risk children.

Youth Snack

Since 2012, Forgotten Harvest’s youth snack program has provided nutritious snacks to kids from kindergarten to high school attending afterschool and summer educational programs at enrichment programs throughout metro Detroit. The snacks encourage children and teens to attend programming to receive help with school work and participate in various educational programs.

Key partners include Detroit Public Library branches, Pontiac Public Library, Inkster Public Library, Mosaic Youth Theatre, and Brilliant Detroit, which serve over 6,000 children monthly. On average, Forgotten Harvest provides approximately 60,000 snacks to its partners annually.

Sharing The Harvest

Forgotten Harvest kicks off the holiday season with a special Thanksgiving event. Through this event, approximately 2,000 Thanksgiving meals with all the fixings will be delivered to Forgotten Harvest partners just in time for the holiday.

Hope For The Holidays

During the December holiday season, Forgotten Harvest and a team of volunteers will create nearly 6,000 meal boxes, feeding up to 20,000 people throughout metro Detroit. The holiday meals are distributed to partners in areas of high food insecurity.

Healthy Food Healthy Healthy Seniors

Forgotten Harvest’s food rescue program addresses the critical need to increase access to nutritious fresh food for low-income metro Detroit seniors. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey (pre-COVID-19), 571,802 people in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties – or 14.9% of the total population – live in poverty. This includes 66,472 adults 65 or older, or 10.8% of our community’s senior population, leaving them at high risk of food insecurity and the serious long-term effects of hunger and chronic under-nutrition. More than 19,000 of these seniors live in the City of Detroit, where 21% of seniors live in poverty.

Forgotten Harvest works with a diverse network of pantries, including four that are solely focused on supporting the lives of seniors, providing them with nearly 250,000 lbs. of nutritious food annually.

Veteran Support Program

Those who have served our country bravely shouldn’t be forced to endure the agony of not knowing if they can feed their family. Feeding America reports that 160,000 families of active military personnel faced food insecurity in 2018- 2019. Further, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) says that 1.5 million veterans live in poverty, increasing the risk of food insecurity.

In 2021, Forgotten Harvest worked with six veteran-specific agency partners, providing over 600,000 lbs. of food. Additionally, Forgotten Harvest continues to establish additional veteran partnerships to support an unacceptable situation for the many men and women who have given so much of their lives for the safety of our nation.

Forgotten Harvest Farm

Forgotten Harvest Farms is situated on 95 acres of donated land in Fenton with an annual yield goal of approximately 500,000 lbs. of fresh, healthy produce. Forgotten Harvest grows and harvests crops such as: potatoes, sweet corn, green beans, cabbage, collard greens, zucchini, watermelon, carrots, chili peppers and mustard greens. The farm allows Forgotten Harvest to ensure that metro Detroit families will consistently benefit from fresh, healthy foods that are often unavailable or unaffordable to them.

Grocery Rescue

The innovative grocery rescue program presented by The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation is fundamental to the mission of Forgotten Harvest. Annually, between 30-40% of the food produced in the U.S. is wasted — it’s the job of Forgotten Harvest to find where that perfectly good food is being wasted and ensure it reaches the most vulnerable in metro Detroit.

The Forgotten Harvest fleet drives approximately 80,000 miles annually to rescue a variety of fresh produce, fruits, grains, and more — food that is often unaffordable or out of reach for those in need. While the grocery rescue program provides a nutritious supply of fresh food to the community, it is also beneficial to the environment. Every year, over 100 billion pounds of food is wasted, generating Methane, which the EPA reports is “more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.” It also has economic implications. Aside from the costs to remove and transport the waste, the estimated value of this wasted food is $408 billion.

To ensure this program continues supporting the 1 in 6 who face hunger in metro Detroit, Forgotten Harvest offers multiple opportunities for programmatic support.

Mobile Pantry & Forgotten Harvest ON-THE-GO

The Forgotten Harvest mobile pantry program addresses the need to get more nutritious fresh food into the diets of food-insecure residents in high-poverty, under-served metro Detroit neighborhoods.

Currently, Forgotten Harvest has 68 permanent mobile pantry partners throughout Southeast Michigan, with additional partners through the On-The-Go pop-up distribution program. Each mobile pantry and On-The-Go site provide between 120 – 750 families with essential perishable items like produce, fruits, and grains weekly or bi-weekly.

To effectively plan mobile pantry distributions and partnerships, Forgotten Harvest uses food-insecurity mapping to evaluate areas of high need and determine the appropriate quantity, mix, and flow of food into the area. This data-driven approach allows Forgotten Harvest to develop local partnerships to target food distribution where it’s needed the most.

Supporting the mobile pantry and On-The-Go program helps underwrite the operational costs of transporting and procuring the food, truck maintenance, and staffing.

Volunteer Rescue Team

The Forgotten Harvest volunteer program recruits and manages the work of over 15,000 volunteers annually who provide more than 71,000 hours of service critical to the success of the mission. Their service allows Forgotten Harvest to accept tractor-trailer loads of fresh food, often packed in 700 lb. totes, and repack that food into individual and family-sized quantities, making it ready for distribution.

Volunteers in our warehouse also have the opportunity to create non-perishable family-sized boxes from the rescued dry goods we have on hand.

During the spring, summer, and fall, approximately 3,000 volunteers assist with planting and harvesting a variety of fruits and vegetables at the 95-acre Forgotten Harvest farm in Fenton.

During the summer, volunteers in our warehouse play a vital role making or packaging thousands of lunches that we then distribute to food-insecure children attending summer programs.

Forgotten Harvest’s volunteer program is integral to our food rescue program; without our volunteers, thousands of food-insecure residents, particularly at-risk children and low-income seniors, would not benefit from our fresh, nutritious food.

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Grocery Rescue

The innovative grocery rescue program presented by The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation is fundamental to the mission of Forgotten Harvest. Annually, between 30-40% of the food produced in the U.S. is wasted — it’s the job of Forgotten Harvest to find where that perfectly good food is being wasted and ensure it reaches the most vulnerable in metro Detroit.

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