What We Do
Thirty-five percent of all food is wasted in the U.S., and food waste creates an enormous environmental problem: if global food waste were a country, it would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions after the U.S and China. Yet 1 in 5 people in Marin County worry about where their next meal will come from.
ExtraFood’s mission is to help end hunger and food waste in Marin. Our first step is our county-wide food recovery program: we rescue excess fresh food from Marin’s businesses (such as grocery stores, farmers’ markets and farms), and immediately deliver the food to safety net partners (such as senior housing centers, homeless shelters and food pantries), who serve Marin’s most vulnerable children, older adults and families.
ExtraFood secures food donations such as fresh produce and prepared food that match our partners’ food needs, and our volunteers and staff drivers, dispatched using proprietary technology and by text message, pick up and deliver the food, 365 days a year. By working through Marin’s safety net, ExtraFood minimizes its cost structure and enables Marin’s charitable food distribution network to reach more people, shift food program funding to other services, and provide more complete and healthy meals.
In 8 years, ExtraFood’s staff and 750 volunteers have organized, rescued, and delivered over 5,000,000 pounds of food from 275 donors to 146 sites throughout the county. ExtraFood has become a central part of Marin’s disaster and crisis response, delivering fresh food to people affected by wildfires and power outages as well as to first responders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ExtraFood has used the excess capacity of restaurants and caterers to give more than 90,000 freshly-made meals to people hit hardest by the crisis. The organization reaches more than 8,000 people every week with high-quality food.
ExtraFood is helping to solve the problem of hunger in a unique way, leading a movement to transform Marin’s food system: from wasting food to donating it for people in need. For ExtraFood, food justice is racial justice: we are increasing equitable access to healthy, fresh food. We are committed to our culture of “food recovery with the human touch,” which deeply values our team’s connections with each other, with our partners, and with people struggling with hunger; our understanding of, and responsiveness to, our partners’ needs; and being a community-based, community-building organization.