Voices of Resilience: A Conversation with Leah Lizarondo
April 2020 – WE Empower Awardee and 2020 Global Leadership Awards Honoree Leah Lizarondo is a social entrepreneur who is engaging everyday citizens in the fight to end hunger and reduce the environmental damage caused by food waste. Leah is the co-founder and CEO of 412 Food Rescue, a food recovery organization that uses technology to link retailers with excess food to distribution volunteers, preventing un-sellable but perfectly good food from going to waste. Based in Pittsburgh, 412 Food Rescue has helped redirect over 9 million meals from over 2,300 food retailers to over 900 NGOs, getting food to those who need it and preventing 9 million pounds of carbon emissions in the process. Leah sits down with Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson to discuss food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leah and Alyse talk about what 412 Food Rescue does, in normal circumstances as well as in these current, pandemic circumstances where there is a high demand for the kind of solution 412 Food Rescue is providing. Leah and Alyse also discuss the unacceptable link between food waste and food insecurity, the volunteering model 412 Food Rescue is operating with and how it continues to make a difference while remaining staff during this pandemic, and the quick adjustments Leah and her organization has undertaken, including partnering with restaurants and vendors to create cooked meals to distribute, working with food banks to deliver food door-to-door to reach seniors and piloting a new program using school bus routes. They talk about the humanity that has emerged in a time of crisis as people want to step in and help get food to people who need it.
Tune into the episode today:
Want to get involved?
If you live in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Vancouver, we encourage you to get involved with 412 Food Rescue! You can download the app and volunteer as a food rescue hero here! If you wish to make a financial donation to 412 Food Rescue, you can do so here.
You can learn more about Leah and 412 Food Rescue by watching her 2019 WE Empower Pitch here.