Donor FAQ

Welcome and thank you for your partnership as we embark on this journey to feed those in need and to recapture food that would otherwise be toss into the landfills. Our mission is simple. In US we waste 40% of the food. Imagine, just merely recouping15% will feed 25 millions people

stores Is there a cost for this service?

No, we rely 100% on volunteers to pick up food donations and deliver it to shelters and neighborhood feeding programs. This is a free service to both Donors and Recipients.

How does the service work?

Once the donor creates an account at and has been validated, they can begin donating food immediately via our web application. When a donor schedules a food pickup, they request the date and time for pickup. Once the request is entered, the web application finds a recipient match and notifies our pool of volunteers. Once a volunteer is assigned, our donor and recipient are notified via email that a food donation will be picked up and delivered at the donor’s specified date and time.

We will have our mobile applications by summer of 2014 which will allow donors to donate via a mobile app.

Guidelines for scheduling a food pickup?

We ask that donors provide a minimum 2 hour window for pickup. We also ask donors to provide as much notice as possible. One day notice is ideal but even a 2 to 4 hour notice has a high success rate for pickups. A late Friday afternoon pickup usually requires a longer notice to be successful.

Is there a minimum or maximum food donation?

We ask that you have enough food to feed at least 10 people when scheduling a food run. If you have food that will feed less than 10 people, you can do a self drop off at the following shelters.

We don’t have a limit on the amount of food you can donate. We can send several vehicles for one food run. However, if you anticipate your food donation to be more than 1 car load, please indicate that when you schedule a food pickup through our web application.

What is an on-call versus regular food run

A regular food run is a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly food pickup that occurs at the same time and usually by the same volunteer. A regular food run does not have to be re-scheduled through our web application. An on-call run is a one-time pickup that can get filled by any of our volunteers. On-call runs are usually scheduled the day of or during that week.

What are your operating hours?

Monday-Friday for both on-call and regular runs. Weekends for regular runs and special events. Our normal working hours are 8:00am-5:00pm working in conjunction with shelter and affordable housing hours. Please contact us at or 415-826-6903 for special events which require weekend or after hours pickups.

How should the food be packaged?

It is important that all donated foods be packaged properly in sanitized and food-safe containers provided by the donor. The food can be packaged in its original catering container or tray with either a foil or plastic cover. Our volunteers use their own vehicle so we ask them to line their car seats in case of spills but it would be helpful to use a good tight cover to avoid any spills. Please have the food packaged before the volunteer food runner arrives to pick up the donation.

Other food handling information I should be aware of?

If food is stored at room temperature, food should be picked up within 2 hours after completion of service.

Does food need to be labeled?

No, however when scheduling a food pickup request, we ask that you provide a description of the food that is being donated.

Do you ever decline food donations?

We only accept food that has been prepared in a commercial kitchen with all the stringent guidelines of food handling.

What areas do you service?

Peninsula Food Runners Organization services San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, which include these cities.

During the food pickup, how can I identify the Peninsula Food Runners volunteer?

Our volunteers wear a Peninsula Food Runners t-shirt and/or Peninsula Food Runners name badge during food runs. The confirmation that the donor receives provides the volunteer’s name.

Will the volunteer bring a cart?

Unless we are picking up at the Farmers’ Market, the volunteer normally does not bring a cart. Most of our donors provide a cart for our volunteers to use.

Does the volunteer need help loading the food?

Most likely our volunteers will not ask for help unless the trays are too flimsy for one person to carry.

What happens when a donor schedules a request but no volunteer food runner signs up for the run?

Our pool of volunteers are pretty good about picking up food runs, but there are times when we cannot find a volunteer to pick up the food. If this happens we ask that you store the food overnight in a refrigerator and reschedule a new run for the following morning. Our non-profit organization relies 100% on our volunteers to do our food runs. We can also provide an address to a local shelter which will allow one of your employees to drop off the food on their way home. Many corporations encourage their employees to volunteer for local charities. Peninsula Food Runners is always looking for new volunteers!

Are there any types of food that are excluded?


If this is a free service how do you make money?

We rely on our wonderful volunteers to pickup and deliver the food donations. They use their own vehicle, gas, and time to do one or two food runs a week which normally take 1 hour to complete. Without our dedicated volunteers, Peninsula Food Runners would not survive. Also, our founders & staff currently volunteer all of their time to develop the web & mobile application, solicit donors, recruit volunteers, and reach out to shelters. Our founders, staff, and board members currently do not take a salary.

However we do rely on contributions, fundraisers, and grants to help offset operating costs.