Boulder Food Rescue

A nonprofit organization

$59,033 raised by 291 donors

Boulder Food Rescue aims to create a more just and less wasteful food system. We facilitate the sustainable redistribution of healthy food that would otherwise be wasted to low-income communities, by bicycle. We work with communities to facilitate their own food redistribution and create decentralized systems to bypass barriers to food access. 

Our work envisions a world in which everyone has equitable access to healthy food.


"I first heard about BFR after seeing an article in the Daily Camera about 6 months after the organization formed. I was immediately impressed with the work of this unique group: feeding the hungry, reducing food waste and saving the planet! I went to one of the organizational meetings, and I was even more impressed by the intelligence, energy and clear commitment of the BFR crew. I signed on to help then and have been an active member since."
-Gayle, Volunteer & Donor

"I love the work that BFR does. Bringing good and edible food to the community makes me feel treated with dignity, not as a poor person. BFR works very differently to the food banks."                                         -Resident of one of our communities 

These amazing gifts of free food been delivered to our neighbors has been a blessing. Especially now with such high prices of food. Our volunteers take the time to look through food that's still in perfect condition. Once again so grateful so save money and feed our families & neighbors. Thank you BOULDER FOOD RESCUE" -Estela, No Cost Grocery Program Coordinator

"I have learned A LOT from BFR in regards to genuine engagement and participation, collaboration, justice and respect, and humility. I adore BFR: its staff, its mission, its approach. It has been impactful to have those experiences as I have gained memorable life and professional lessons."
- Ingrid Castro-Campos, Community Partner

Giving Activity


Boulder Food Rescue aims to create a more just and less wasteful food system. We facilitate the sustainable redistribution of healthy food that would otherwise be wasted to communities facing food insecurity. We work to increase access to fruits and vegetables, remove food access barriers, reduce food waste, implement more equitable and just food rescue practices, build trust with communities, and support community-led programs.

Our No Cost Grocery Programs are community-led distribution points that engage the voices, experiences, and leadership of program participants. Community leaders run their own unique programs and determine when, where, and how the food is redistributed.

BFR is working to pursue its vision for communities to have autonomy in their food system and the resources they need to thrive. 

Background Statement

Boulder Food Rescue (BFR) started in the fall of 2011 as a result of University of Colorado research conducted by two of BFR's founding members. They discovered that enough food is thrown away each day to feed everyone who is food insecure in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. In discussions with grocery stores regarding this finding, they learned that much of their composted food could not be donated to a food bank because the food was "too perishable," i.e., in the time it takes for the food to be picked up and taken to a warehouse, sorted, then redistributed to shelters and homes, it would be inedible. Additionally, some of the to-be-composted food could not be accepted by the area food banks because of policy restrictions. Food not in original packaging is precluded from being distributed by these food banks, which amounts to thousands of pounds of nutritious food being thrown away every day.

In light of this situation, Boulder Food Rescue was formed to provide direct, just-in-time delivery of perishable food. In order to be truly sustainable, it was a central principle that food delivery would be done by bicycle and bike trailer whenever possible. It started with a meal in the park, where feedback from the community resulted in two core values of the organization. The first was that it was the meal that people most looked forward to during the week, because it was all fruits and vegetables. BFR decided to focus primarily on healthy foods, such as fresh produce. The second piece of feedback from the community was this: "we appreciate how you all sit down and eat with us." We wanted to break down traditional stereotypes of charity work, including the idea that the more privileged should serve the less privileged. We carry this core value of participatory structures throughout all of our programs. Recipients of food design their own programs, help by volunteering to set up their own grocery programs, volunteer by doing their own pick-ups, and give us feedback and desires that influence the way in which we do our work.

BFR first began pickups from just one grocery store, but quickly discovered that many organizations and people were in need of fruits and vegetables. Our organization now picks up seven days a week, 12 times per day from 23 different food vendors, and delivers this nutritious produce to 36 different organizations and grocery programs every week. We have rescued over 3 million pounds of food to date, 85% of which has been done by bicycle.

Organization Data


Organization name

Boulder Food Rescue

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Organization Size

Large Organization


PO Box 284
Boulder, CO 80306


PO Box 284
Boulder, CO 80306

Service areas

Boulder County, CO, US



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