Food for thought

Leah Lizarondo

Leah Lizarondo knows the farm-to-table connection is broken. Too many people are food insecure, and yet too many organizations lack the logistical know how and manpower to rescue unsellable, but perfectly good, food. Instead, that food gets thrown away. In droves.

That’s where Lizarondo’s 412 Food Rescue comes into play.

412 Food Rescue uses its technology to recover food from national retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, caterers, universities and more, and redirects that food to nonprofits and community organizations who distribute it to their beneficiaries. The food they’re picking up isn’t just any food: 412 Food Rescue only redirects fresh, perishable food – the healthy stuff.

Through a network of trucks and volunteers using their own vehicles, 412 Food Rescue’s #FoodRescueHeros pick up and deliver recovered food in five cities throughout the United States. To date, they’ve rescued more than 7 million pounds of food that would have been thrown away, and they’re just getting started.

Arizona State University's Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability is proud to support Leah and 412 Food Rescue’s vision for change, and we’re proud to work with her as a 2019 WE Empower Challenge Awardee. The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge brings together innovative women entrepreneurs advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals with bold ideas – just like Leah. Leah joins our other four Awardees in New York this week for a week of in-depth trainings, skills building, high-level conversations in association with the UN General Assembly and will have the chance to pitch her business for a $20,000 grant. We are thrilled to welcome to this program and even more excited to watch her change the world.