Frequently Asked Questions About Food Recovery

Who Donates?

Over 127 businesses, from food purveyors to manufacturers, growers to caterers, and restaurants, contribute to the Food Recovery Program.

Where Does the Food Go?

Over 40 area agencies are in a network though the Food Recovery Program. Local food pantries, meal programs, shelters, and group homes all cooperate to transport and distribute the food to specific clients as quickly as possible.

What Can You Donate?

  • Fresh or frozen produce
  • Fresh or frozen meat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Leftover food from restaurants, buffets and catered events
  • Canned and packaged food items

How Does the Program Work?

  1. Identify food items suitable for donation
  2. Properly prepare and package the food
  3. Contact the Food Resource Manager for delivery instructions or pickup

What Are the Regulations for Handling Food?

Each donor must follow strict food-handling standards to ensure the food we distribute is safe and of the best possible quality.

  • Avoid cross-contamination
  • Minimize hand contact
  • Properly label and date items
  • Food items may not be thawed and then refrozen
  • For safe and rapid cooling, food should be packaged into shallow containers and transferred directly to a refrigerator or freezer
  • Maintain appropriate temperatures for food storage: Hot foods must be maintained at 140° F (or above) until they can be properly cooled and transferred to refrigerated conditions. Cold foods must be maintained at 40° F (or below) until the food is ready to be donated.

Further questions about food handling can be directed to the Waukesha County UW Extension FoodWIse Program: 262-548-7877.