Wayside Food Rescue helps fill shelves of local pantries

Our Food Rescue Program salvages edible food from grocery stores, wholesalers, farms, shipping companies, and other food establishments that is not sellable for cosmetic reasons, packaging imperfections, and/or inventory levels. When donated to Wayside, the food is redirected to 60 soup kitchens, food pantries, and other social service agencies across Southern Maine.  Wayside operates as a hub within a network of existing food distribution organizations.  When these smaller agencies receive donations that exceed their need and/or storage capacity, Wayside facilitates the redistribution to others, reducing waste and duplication of effort.
In 2022, Wayside Food Programs kept 1,000,000 lbs of food from entering landfills. Most of that food was redirected to economically vulnerable community members across Cumberland County. Wayside also partners with local livestock farmers, and employs Agri-Cycle, a food waste collection service that converts packaged food and scraps into bio-gas. 
To support or learn more about Food Rescue:

Contact Don Morrison: dmorrison@waysidemaine.org, (207) 712-4929


Additional Rescue Programs:


An innovative program to distribute unused medical nutrition formula to patients in need. Formula is used by patients who require feeding tubes, which may be needed by patients undergoing cancer treatment. After completing treatment, patients may have extra formula, which cannot be returned to distributors. To provide this unused formula to patients in need, Wayside has become a formula pick-up center for patients and drop-off center for donors in a partnership with Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute and New England Life Care. 


In partnership with Oakhurst Dairy, Wayside operates a dairy buying cooperative for Cumberland County food pantries. By purchasing milk and other dairy products together in bulk, the pantries are able to share cost savings while providing their clients with nutritious and highly sought after food.


An outreach program of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to food insecure individuals and families in Maine. Wayside works with the Extension to distribute the produce grown at a number of HFH gardens to food pantries throughout the county. For more information about Harvest for Hunger and how to donate, click here.


A cooperative program between the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) within the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. This program provides a means for hunters to donate all or a portion of their hunt to a family in need. For more information about Hunters for the Hungry, click here.


A federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. TEFAP provides food and administrative funds to states to supplement the diets of these groups. Wayside Food Programs works with the Maine State Department of Agriculture to administer and distribute the food for this program to eligible food pantries and soup kitchens in Cumberland County.