Food Rescue Hero Founder Honored on National List of Climate Activists

March 24, 2022

3 Min Read
Food Rescue Hero
Food Rescue Hero

Pittsburgh Food Rescue Hero’s CEO and Founder, Leah Lizarondo, is honored in this year’s Grist 50, an annual, national list of emerging leaders from across the U.S. who are working on fresh, real-world solutions to our world’s biggest challenges related to climate change and the environment. 

Grist is one of the most respected publications dedicated to climate solutions and climate justice, reporting on these challenges since 1999. Grist recognizes people in all areas of the country — not just urban centers — who they call “Fixers.” Lizarondo’s honor comes just in time for Food Rescue Hero's seventh anniversary this month.

Lizarondo joins an accomplished group of past winners working in climate, sustainability, and equity, including Congresspeople Ayanna Pressley and Ted Lieu, Dawn Lippert of Earthshot Ventures and Elemental Excelerator, food advocate Katherine Miller, chefs Katie Button and Tim Ma, and artist LaToya Ruby Frazier.

Chosen from nearly 1,000 nominations, Food Rescue Hero addresses three of the world’s biggest problems at once: food waste, climate change, and food insecurity. The tech platform, known as the “DoorDash for Good” and currently active in 16 North American cities, mobilizes the world’s largest network of volunteer food drivers.

“Many people have visceral responses to food waste and a desire to help,” says Lizarondo. “It’s one of the leading causes of climate change, and when so many people in our communities experience food insecurity, we cannot continue letting perfectly good food go to landfills. Rescuing food with the Food Rescue Hero app is an easy and impactful way for everybody to help our neighbors and the planet. It is one of the fastest-growing movements of climate activists." 

Now more than 27,000 strong, these Food Rescue Heroes have redirected more than 80 million pounds of perfectly good food that would have otherwise been wasted directly to the food insecure, mitigating more than 42 million pounds of carbon emissions in the process. In support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2, 12 and 13, Food Rescue Hero is poised to scale food recovery in 100 cities by 2030.

Grist’s recognition is the latest praise for Lizarondo’s work. Previously, the Food Rescue Hero app has been honored by Fast Company as a World Changing Idea, and the project’s celebrity supporters include actors Elizabeth Banks, Michael Keaton and professional athletes T.J. Watt and Andrew McCutchen.


About Food Rescue Hero: Food Rescue Hero is a technology platform that enables food recovery and hunger relief organizations to launch and scale food recovery. In the United States, as much as 40 percent of the food produced is wasted while one in five people goes hungry. Food waste is also one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. Focusing on the logistical challenges of retail food recovery, Food Rescue Hero addresses the challenges of food waste, food insecurity and climate change through technology-coordinated, community-powered networks. Through the app, volunteer drivers are alerted when surplus food is available nearby to be picked up and delivered to a household in need or nonprofit serving people experiencing food insecurity. Since its launch in 2016, the app has redirected 80 million pounds of perfectly good food and mitigated over 42 million pounds of CO2 emissions. Food Rescue Hero was piloted in Pittsburgh and now measurably impacts food insecurity in 16 cities. In support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2, 12 and 13, its goal is to scale food recovery in 100 cities by 2030.


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