Charitable organizations

Unlock access to a supply of nutritious food donations, so you can focus on getting them to the people in our communities who need them.

Join the network

Get a regular supply of fresh food donations from your local grocery store

Ideal for organizations with the time, facilities and volunteers to collect, sort and distribute large volumes of food donations.

Buy discounted food and claim donations on our online Marketplace

Ideal for organizations with little or no budget to buy food, who can accept large volumes of food on an ad hoc basis.

Check you’re eligible to access food donations

To access food donations via FoodMesh’s programs, you must use them to have a social impact, not to make a profit, and you must be either:

A registered charity

A non-profit organization

A social impact business

Another type of organization using the donations for a social impact cause

Retail Food Recovery Program icon

Get a regular supply of food donations from your local grocery store

How it works

“I really love FoodMesh! My first donation pickup was worth just over $9000 and the clients LOVED the items!’

– Avalon Lawrence
Mission Community Services Society

Donations typically include

Bakery

Bakery icon

Dairy

Dairy icon

Meat and fish

Meat and fish icon

Deli

Deli icon

Produce

Produce icon

Grocery

Grocery icon
Richmond Food Bank and Save-On-Foods
Photo credit: Richmond News

Our perishable offering has increased 10 times… clients are happy, we are happy.

– Hajira Hussein
Richmond Food Bank

Richmond food recovery network people

Webinar series

Attend an upcoming webinar to learn more about how you can get a regular supply of fresh food donations from your local store.
Learn more

FoodMesh has made food recovery so easy, the App is the bomb, it’s so easy to use, and it’s helpful for me to see at the end of the month all that we have shared with the community, whether I want the big picture or the little details. Thank you FoodMesh and thank you to the donors like Buy-Low Foods that participate in this program. It is life-changing for so many people.

– Jo Tanner, Oliver Missions Society

Choose your role

How often you collect donations will depend on your role in the program and the plan the store is on.  Please assess which role is the best for your organization.

Lead (for 5+ donation pickups per week)

Sprout

Stores donating edible only food

What you need to participate
  • A minimum of two staff or volunteers to drive your vehicle and pick up donations from the store
  • An SUV or larger that can fit 30+ boxes inside
  • Space at your facility to store up to 30 boxes and sort the food inside
  • A walk-in cooler and a walk-in freezer (or alternatively 2 upright fridges and 2 chest freezers)
  • If using totes, the space and facilities to clean them
  • Scales to weigh the food, if you want to weigh it at your facility (alternatively you could use the FoodMesh-provided scales that are kept at the store)
What you need to do
  • Consistently pick up store’s edible food donations at least 5 days per week (including statutory holidays)
  • Weigh all the donations you pick up and record the data in our easy-to-use Diversion Tracker app within 24 hours of receipt
  • Share the donations with other local organizations in need
  • Find a replacement charitable organizationto pick up donations in the event you’re not available
Bloom

Stores donating edible and inedible food

What you need to participate
  • A minimum of two staff or volunteers to drive your vehicle and pick up donations from the store (ideally three)
  • A minivan or larger that can fit 35+ boxes inside (a 1-tonne or larger truck is preferable)
  • Space at your facility to store up to 50 boxes and sort the food inside
  • A walk-in cooler and a walk-in freezer (or alternatively 2-3 upright fridges and 2-3 chest freezers)
  • Space to store inedible food for farmers to collect
  • Regular compost pick up service
  • If using totes, the space and facilities to clean them
  • Scales to weigh the food, if you want to weigh it at your facility (alternatively you could use the FoodMesh-provided scales that are kept at the store)
What you need to do
  • Consistently pick up store’s edible food donations, farm feed and a small amount of compost from all store departments at least 5 days per week (including statutory holidays)
  • Weigh all the donations you pick up and record the data in our easy-to-use Diversion Tracker app within 24 hours of receipt
  • Share the edible food donations with other local organizations in need
  • Share the inedible food with farmers for animal feed and/or compost
  • Find a replacement charitable organization to pick up donations in the event you’re not available

The amazing team at FoodMesh partners CityReach Food for Families with retailers so we can add quantity, quality and diversity to our food program. We just couldn’t make those connections to large retailers like Save-On-Foods and Fresh St. Market on our own. 30% of our rescued food and almost all our rescued protein is through the FoodMesh program. FoodMesh not only keeps our planet green, they are providing our guests with nutritious food as we partner to reduce food insecurity.

– Sharon Dong, CityReach Care Society

Partner (for 2-4 donation pickups per week)

Sprout

Stores donating edible food only

What you need to participate
  • Regular and reliable access to a vehicle large enough to transport up to 30 boxes
  • A driver to pick up the donations
  • A physical location is not always necessary. Speak with your FoodMesh contact to learn more
What you need to do
  • The same as a Lead charitable organization, except you only need to be able to commit to picking up donations 2-4 days per week
Bloom

Stores donating edible and inedible food

What you need to participate
  • Regular and reliable access to a vehicle large enough to transport up to 30 boxes
  • A driver to pick up the donations
  • A physical location is not always necessary. Speak with your FoodMesh contact to learn more
What you need to do
  • The same as a Lead charitable organization, except you only need to be able to commit to picking up donations 2-4 days per week

If you are unable to commit to making regular pickups from a store but are looking for a regular supply of fresh food donations, let us know. We may be able to connect you to a Lead or Partner charitable organization to receive some of their supply. Contact us.

We are a grass-roots not-for-profit that works with FoodMesh to redistribute food to my clients. Our clients are so grateful to receive the high-quality foods that we distribute to them, and we witness their decrease in food insecurity. Just removing this anxiety from their life is transformative, and has allowed many of them to make positive changes in their life. The app is simple to use, and the monthly reports received from FoodMesh are so helpful in further marketing our NFP. Thank you FoodMesh for your ingenuity and forward-thinking on this common problem.

Jolene Friesen, Swallowtail Trauma Integration Society

Donation program FAQs

What is FoodMesh's role in the program?

FoodMesh is employed by the participating retailer to:

  • Be their single point of contact across their stores, their local charity and farmer partners
  • Set up the program and the donation recipient network across their stores
  • Order/create all the necessary materials to prepare the stores for the program
  • Train store staff on best practices for sorting and donating food
  • Train donation recipients on the Diversion Tracker App
  • Lead the initial orientation session with the store and donation recipients
  • Complete in-person visits to the store for the program launch and orientation by our dedicated program trainer
  • Provide ongoing operational support in areas such as:
    • Technical support for the Diversion Tracker App
    • Farmer onboarding, scheduling and management (where needed)
    • Fresher training for store staff (where needed)
    • Support with charity’s diversion network (where needed)
    • Monthly reports to charities including all donation data
    • Monthly reports to stores including their social impact metrics
  • Guarantee that all their donations are collected and the data for them inputted into the Diversion Tracker App

How do I find a store with a food donation program?

Use this interactive map to browse stores with donation programs near you. We are adding new stores all the time, so if you don’t see a store in your area, be sure to join the network, and we’ll notify you when a new one is added.

What happens after I register my interest in a store?

A member of the FoodMesh team will contact you to learn more about your operational capacity.

Am I able to pick up donations from more than one store?

Absolutely! You can register your interest in the specific stores you are interested in via this interactive map.

How often am I expected to pick up food donations from a store?

It depends on your capacity and availability. Stores require their food donations to be picked up daily and so if you are able and willing to fulfill those picks-ups, then you can pick up food donations every day of the week. If you are not able to pick up food donations every day, you can be partnered with another charitable organization to pick up food donations on the days you’re not available.

What is the difference between a lead charitable organization and a partner charitable organization??

Lead charitable organizations are responsible for picking up food donations from a store for five or more days per week.

Partner charitable organizations are responsible for picking up food donations from a store for the remaining days of the week (often one or two days per week).

What is the difference between the Bloom, Sprout and Seed plans?

A store on the Bloom plan has committed to donating all of their surplus food (both edible and inedible). A charitable organization is responsible for picking up all of the donations, weighing and tracking them and sharing them with a network of charities, farmers and composters.

A store on the Sprout plan has committed to donating all of their surplus edible food. A charitable organization is responsible for picking up the edible food donations, weighing and tracking them and sharing them amongst a network of other charities.

A store on the Seed plan manages its own donation program and network of donation recipients. They use the Diversion Tracker app to measure the volume of their surplus food.

How much donated food can I expect to receive from a store?

It depends on the size of the store and which plan (Sprout or Bloom) the store is on. If you have a specific store in mind, please enquire with your FoodMesh contact for an estimate of the expected volume.

Do I have to pick up all the food donations from a store?

If you are picking up donations from a store on the Sprout plan, then you will be expected to pick up all of the store’s surplus food that the store staff has deemed as edible.

If you are picking up donations from a store on the Bloom plan, you will be expected to pick up all the store’s edible and inedible food.

What am I expected to do with food that is inedible?

If you are picking up from a store that is on the Bloom plan, then we will help recruit a network of farmers to collect the food that is inedible, so it can be used for animal feed.

What do we do with any remaining food that can’t be used for meals or animal feed?

Any food that is not suitable for human or animal consumption should be composted. If you don’t have a composting service in place already, we can help you to find a local option.

What do I do if I have more donations than I need?

We ask that all organizations who pick up donations from a store share their excess with other charities in their area. If you need help connecting to other organizations, please let us know.

Do I need to have my own vehicle to collect donations?

You will need reliable access to a vehicle large enough to transport all of the donations received. For a single store on the Sprout plan, we recommend a cube van or minivan at minimum, or a 1-tonne truck if you are picking up from more than one store. For a single store on the Bloom plan, a cube van or minivan may suffice, but we recommend a 1-tonne truck.

How do I track the food donations I receive?

When you collect the food donations from the store, you are required to weigh the food and input the weight, and the number of totes via our very easy-to-use Diversion Tracker App.

We will provide you with a monthly summary of all of your donations received that have been tracked through the Diversion Tracker App along with a summary of your overall impact metrics (e.g. the number of meals provided, the weight of food diverted, CO2 emissions saved etc.)

What kind of device do we need to use the Diversion Tracker App?

You can install the Diversion Tracker App on any smart device (e.g. a smartphone or a tablet), or you can also use your personal computer. Access to the app is by invitation only.

What sort of containers are the food donations provided in?

The donations are usually provided in banana boxes, as the store has access to a consistent supply of them. Banana boxes do not have to be cleaned and returned to the store. For donations that are wet or juicy, we ask the store to line the box with a clean bag, to avoid any mess.

I am unable to fulfil one of my scheduled pickups. What should I do?

You are responsible for finding another charitable organization to fulfil your pick-up on your behalf. If you are having any trouble finding a replacement charitable organization, please let us know as soon as possible.

FoodMesh has impacted us in many good ways. We are getting more food from stores we did not get food from before. We are able to assist local farmers in feeding their animals from what is not edible from what we pick up. FoodMesh has been a good experience and we really look forward to working with them in the future. 

Jim Calamunce, Executive Director of the Langley Food Bank

Ready to start receiving fresh food donations?

Find a store with a donation program near you

Contact us if you have any questions about how this program works.

Marketplace icon

Buy discounted food and claim donations online

How it works

Browse a wide range of products that are available for you to buy at a low cost or claim as donations.

Number 1
Browse

Browse a wide range of suppliers’ surplus products that are available for sale or donation.

Number 2
Review

Review the supplier’s terms, including minimum order size and whether the supplier is willing to negotiate on quantity and price (if applicable).

Number 3
Select

Select your desired product(s), contact the supplier to arrange pick up (or delivery, if they offer it), and go to the checkout.

Number 4
Success

If applicable, securely use your credit card to pay for products you choose to purchase.

Benefits of using the Marketplace

Decrease your food procurement costs - buy or receive donated food, equipment and packaging

Completely free to use - you only pay for the items you choose to buy

Access high-quality products

Make informed, pressure-free decisions

Follow companies you know and trust

Marketplace FAQ

Who can claim donations through the Marketplace

To access food donations via the Marketplace, you must be either:

  • a registered charity
  • a non-profit organization
  • a social impact business
  • another type of organization using the donations for a social impact cause

How to browse listings on the Marketplace

You need to create an account on the Marketplace before you can browse the listings. Signing up is quick, easy and completely free to do.
Register for the Marketplace

Once you’ve clicked on the return email to verify it, you will have access to browse listings within 24 hours (if you register on a Friday, it may take until Monday for your verification to go through).

You can then log in to the Marketplace and browse what’s available to buy. If you’re a registered charity or a non-profit organization, you can also browse products that are listed for donation.

How to buy/claim a donated product

Add your desired products to your shopping cart. When you are ready to process your order, click on the shopping cart icon in the top right corner of the Marketplace. Review your order, and click on the ‘Checkout’ button, and follow the steps to submit your order.

How payment works

There are minimum orders placed by each supplier, and some offer O.B.O. on quantity and price – so you can put in an offer.

You can complete the payment for paid products using a credit card. Your card is charged once the supplier ‘accepts’ your order.

Once the payment is processed, you will receive a receipt directly from Stripe (our payment provider).

How delivery works

On the details of the listing you are interested in, the supplier chooses whether they offer delivery or pickup only. Please message the supplier directly if you have any questions about their chosen option.

How your organization’s information is kept confidential

The information you input into the Marketplace will not be shared with anyone outside of FoodMesh.

How to issue a tax receipt to a supplier for the donations you receive from them

We’ve created a pre-formatted receipt that you can easily fill in to create a tax receipt to give to suppliers for donations you receive from them. Follow these steps:

  • Please download the file and save this form to your computer
  • Save a copy with the name of the supplier who donated the food to you
  • Fill in the form in the grey shaded areas
  • Save it as a .pdf.
  • Upload it to the Marketplace on the order receipt that it pertains to
  • The supplier will then receive an email notification that you’ve uploaded it for them, and they can download it and keep it for their records.

Start shopping for low cost and donated food