Links and Resources About Food Recovery in the Phoenix Area
Learn about some food recovery alternatives in the Phoenix area. EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes these food waste strategies from most to least preferable.
Source reduction is the strategy of preventing food from becoming waste in the first place. There are many resources available to tackle source reduction:
- U.S. EPA Food Recovery Website
- Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tool (XLSM)(9 pp, 914 K,
Tracks the amount and reasons specific foods are wasted.
- Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants
Provides guidance on using the prevention tool tracking results to save money and reduce waste.
- Food Waste Assessment Guidebook
Shows how to do a one-time snapshot wasted food assessment.
- Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tool (XLSM)(9 pp, 914 K, March 2014)
- National Restaurant Association ConServe Program
Provides resources and tools to help restaurants through each step of a food waste reduction program; provides videos to accompany many of the EPA resources listed above.
Company assists food service operations in reducing food waste, website provides many free tools, videos and case studies.
The resources below include national, regional and local organizations which take food donations in the Phoenix area. Most take non-perishables, and some accept surplus perishable foods. Be prepared to describe your donations in terms of packaging, preparation, frequency and type.
Many have varying or limited capabilities for storing food donations and therefore limit the types or timing of donations. It’s often best to contact several to determine which can use your donations. Below are links to find local food pantries.
- Ample Harvest
Find a pantry near you on this non-profit's website.
- Food Pantries.org
See a list of Arizona food pantries on this non-profit's website. The following food pantries may accept perishable donations:
|Phoenix Rescue Mission - Kitchen & Shelter||1801 S 35th Ave,
Phoenix, AZ 85009
|Daily 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.|
|Cultural Cup Food Bank||342 E Thomas Rd,
Phoenix, AZ 85012
|Mon-Thu: 9:00 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.|
|Friendly House||113 W Sherman St,
Phoenix, AZ 85004
|Mon-Thu: 8:30 - 11:00 a.m.|
|Salvation Army - Mesa Citadel Family Services||241 E. 6th St., Bldg. 3
Mesa, AZ, 85201
|Mon-Thu: 8:00 - 11:00 a.m.
& 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Fri: 8:00 - 11:30 a.m.
- Rock and Wrap It Up!
Matches vetted charities with eligible donors of perishable food including entertainment venues, hotels, K-12 schools and colleges, sports teams, and hospitals. Offers the free “Whole Earth Calculator” to convert pounds of food to pounds of CO2 equivalent (CO2e).
- Waste Not
Picks up and delivers perishable food the same day; does not warehouse or store food.
170 North Granite Reef Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257; (620) 721-3454
Food Donation Hours: Monday-Friday: 6 am – 4 pm, Saturday: 6 am – 11 am
Food Donation Criteria
- Enough food to feed 20-25 people.
- As much advance notice as possible; pick-ups are made during morning hours with deliveries scheduled for the afternoon.
Trucks operate Monday through Saturday from the 101 West to the 101 East and from the 101 North, south to Chandler Boulevard. Can pick-up outside the service area, or connect with a facility that would appreciate the food donation.
- The 3000 Club: Market on the Move
Targeted at grocery stores, Market on the Move provides a farmers’ market atmosphere at various locations throughout Metro Phoenix and Tucson areas where partners and supporters of this program can make a $10 donation to receive up to 60 lbs. of fresh produce. Donations can be made at the host site.
- Flash Food (mobile app)
Connects food service businesses with donation options. The FlashFood mobile application offers food service businesses to donate perishable, unserved, leftover food to people in need, and take advantage of enhanced Federal tax deductions.
- Food Banks
Regional food banks work with local food pantries, homeless shelters and other charities for food donation. While many food banks are unable to accept perishable and prepared food, they often work with donors to find perishable food options nearby. Listed below are the main food banks in the Phoenix area.
|Donation Center||Location||Contact||Type of Food Accepted|
|St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance||2831 N. 31st Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
|(602) 242-FOOD (3663)||Non-perishables; accepts perishable, but not prepared food; items need ingredient label|
|United Food Bank||245 South Nina Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85210
|(480) 926-4897||Non-perishables; everything has to be sealed; works with agencies that prepare hot meals and can take perishables|
|Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank||10862 N 32nd St,
Phoenix, AZ 85028
|(602) 867-9228||Mostly non-perishables, but do receive some doughnuts and bakery items; interested in perishables|
- ReFed Innovator Database
The Database is a living compilation of commercial and nonprofit entities turning the food waste problem into an opportunity for economic, social, and environmental impacts. This growing database is broken down by food waste solution type, organizational status, and geographic reach. Categories include secondary marketplaces that connect surplus food (food that would otherwise be wasted) to buyers. Food product creation organizations convert edible food that is currently considered waste (e.g., surplus/cosmetically challenged produce, brewery waste, vegetable trimmings) into value-added consumer food products (e.g., juices, fruit snacks, energy bars). The Database also list variety of food recovery organizations that capture edible food that would otherwise go to waste on farms, within the supply chain, or in consumer-facing businesses, and redistributes it to food insecure populations.
Large pig farms may accept food scraps. The Federal Swine Health Protection Act requires that food containing, or that comes in contact with meat or animal materials must be boiled before being fed to pigs. Consequently, many local pig farmers are primarily interested in single-stream fruits and vegetables or grain waste. Arrangements are often informal, and can be intermittent.
Spent Brewery Grain
Spent brewery grain can be used as animal feed, primarily for cattle, but also for pigs, goats, fish and almost any livestock. Most breweries give the grain away to local farms. Manufacturers with single food waste streams can find local farms and ranches to donate their excess/by-product.
Fats, oils and grease, also known as FOG, can be converted to fuels and has various industrial uses. FOG and food scraps can also be anaerobically digested to create energy and the digestate can be composted to create a soil amendment. Phoenix area options and resources include:
- Baker Commodities Inc.
FOG collection, grease trap maintenance
Recycles cooking oil into fuels
Pickup and drop-off locations
Composting turns food scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendments and can be done on site in smaller amounts or on a larger scale at a municipal or commercial level.
- Find a Composter
Searchable database of local composting facilities that may accept food waste; results from January 2015 search are included in the table below.
|Recycled City||Service area: Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Peoria, Glendale, Avondale, Goodyear, and Buckeye||Weekly compost collection service with supplied bin||(480) 269-5149|
|Singh Farms||8900 E Thomas Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
|Contact for info||(480) 225-7199|
|Diversified Organics (Drop off/Self-Haul)||91st Ave 1/8mi s of Broadway
Tolleson, AZ 85353
|Contact for info||(480) 550-0858|
Several Phoenix breweries, including Desert Eagle, Phoenix Ale, Four Peaks, and 8th Street Brewery, and SanTan Brewing donate spent grain to local customers for feed for horses, goats, and ostriches.
Sprouts Farmers Market donates produce that is no longer marketable, but still safe and edible to local Feeding America affiliate, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and Church. Sprouts Farmers Market plans to provide stores with compost bins to compost food that cannot be donated to the food rescue program.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open Golf Tournament Zero Waste efforts included replaced trash bins on the course with composting and recycling bins starting in 2012 in its effort to hold a zero waste event for its 500,000 spectators. The 2014 tournament recycling efforts conserved over 600 mature trees, 368,000 gallons of water, 471,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and nearly 1,000 yards of landfill space.
Disclaimer: The information contained on these pages is intended to inform the public and does not establish or affect legal rights or obligations. Links to non-EPA sites do not imply any official EPA endorsement of, or responsibility for, the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at those locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. Reference to any specific commercial products, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.