412 Food Rescue has delivered more than 50,000 meals so far this year

PITTSBURGH — 412 Food Rescue is planning to expand, as it helps the hungry and supports restaurants through the pandemic.

“Today we did a macaroni and cheese pasta with some ground beef, and some roasted vegetables, for our community meal,” said Michael Zawojski with Revel and Roost.

‘Community meal’ is the most important part of the recipe, as the downtown Pittsburgh restaurant ships out the meals to those suffering from food insecurity.

412 Food Rescue started the program that’s aimed at helping restaurants who have been struggling during the pandemic by paying them $8 to $10 a meal, but also helping those struggling to eat. And for Pittsburghers like Christopher Bandy -- hauling meals from one place to another -- it’s a small price to pay for what this program provides.

“Sometimes I’ve had my minivan filled to the gills, I probably delivered 3000 meals or something like that,” he said, and added the level of appreciation from those getting a hot meal only makes him want to work harder. “I remember my first rescue where I delivered a box of food and the person started crying.”

It’s not lost on volunteers like Bandy that the need is that severe, which is why 412 Food Rescue is hoping to expand this program helping restaurants and our neighbors.

“We are about to launch our third phase of this, which will be our largest to support and expand the program throughout all of Allegheny County,” said Sara Swaney with 412 Food Rescue. She added that the plan is to get more restaurants on-board.

WPXI has partnered with 412 Food Rescue to deliver extra food to those who need it most as part of our 11 Cares initiative.