FAQ's - Table to Table


What is food rescue?

A food rescue program picks up excess prepared and perishable food from food establishments and professional kitchens and redistributes it to others who can utilize it.
In 2021, Table to Table began its 22nd year rescuing food in our community.

Where does the food go?

Rescued food is taken to a variety of not-for-profit agencies feeding hungry people in Bergen, Essex, Passaic, and Hudson counties.
Food is transported in our refrigerated vehicles to more than 250 local not for profit organizations, including: food pantries, shelters, day care centers, agencies for victims of domestic violence, senior adult centers, soup kitchens, substance abuse and rehabilitation programs, medical day care facilities, and churches and agencies helping support the working poor.

What makes Table to Table different from a food bank?

Table to Table redistributes only fresh and perishable foods, which it delivers on the day it is received. Food banks typically collect, warehouse, and distribute canned and non-perishable foods. Unlike some food banks, Table to Table never charges a fee to the recipient agencies for the food it delivers.

If it is good food, why isn't it consumed?

Good food isn’t consumed for a variety of reason. Overbuying, incorrect anticipation of consumer choices, manufacturing and distribution issues, even weather conditions can have an effect on the amount of food that is leftover. In almost every facet of the food industry, there are overages of edible, nutritious food being wasted.

How is hunger defined?

• The uneasy or painful sensation caused by a prolonged lack of food.
• The recurrent and involuntary lack of access to food.

What is food insecurity?

• Limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate food.
• Limited or uncertain ability to acquire suitable foods in socially acceptable ways.

Who is hungry?

• Over 50 million people in the United States live in hungry and food insecure households. More than 16 million of those are children.
• One in six Americans does not have enough food to eat and requires emergency food assistance.
• One in five suburban households face food insecurity.
• Women in food insecure households frequently are at the greatest risk, depriving themselves of nutritionally adequate foods to make those foods available to their children and husbands.
• One in five children is born into food insecure households.

Aren't there liability issues in donating food?

Both the federal government and the state of New Jersey have enacted laws to protect food donors. The Federal Children's Nutrition Assistance Act and the New Jersey Good Samaritan Act provide immunity from liability to those donating food.

Wouldn't it be more efficient to give food directly to the pantry or shelter than to Table to Table?

Because Table to Table delivers to more than 250 agencies, serving tens of thousands of people each week, more diverse and greater numbers of people can be helped. Additionally, smaller agencies with few resources have an equal opportunity to share in the fresh food Table to Table delivers.

I’m considering making a donation and want to know how my money will be used.

Ninety-eight percent of every dollar we raise goes directly into our program. Table to Table has been awarded four-star status by Charity Navigator for the 11th consecutive year and is currently ranked one of the most efficient not-for-profits in the entire state of New Jersey. We have also earned the Guidestar Exchange Platinum Level designation. Click on the logos to learn more:

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