Food Rescue FAQs

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How does Second Helpings receive donated food?

To arrange for a food pickup, simply call the Second Helpings office at 632-2664 ext. 122.  Donations of food for pickup must weigh a minimum of 50 pounds and be within the Indianapolis and surrounding areas.  If you are anticipating a food donation from an upcoming event, you should call as far in advance as possible to arrange a pickup time.  Pickups will be made during normal business hours unless arrangements are made in advance.

Drop off:

Food donations to Second Helpings may be dropped off at any time during normal business hours of Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

What food donations can you accept?

  • Prepared food should come from commercially licensed establishments
  • We can accept food that has been prepared within the last 48 hours.
  • We can accept food that has been kept at safe and proper temperatures.
  • We have plenty of bread and baked goods, so these items will not be a priority for pickup.

What’s my liability for health risks of donated food?

Good Samaritan laws protect food donors from liability in almost every case.  We will be happy to share complete information about liability with you and your attorneys.

Are there any tax advantages of donating food?

There may be tax advantages in donating food to Second Helpings. Simply ask, and our Director of Food Rescue will be happy to share a document highlighting the opportunities.

Are there other restrictions of guidelines for donated food?

Prepared food must have been prepared in a commercial kitchen.  Unprepared food may be donated by anyone.  Our drivers will need to know the date the food was prepared.  The food must be maintained within safe food temperatures of below 40°or above 140°F.  Also, food intended for buffet-type service cannot be accepted if the food has been available to the public.

The logistics seem tricky.  How do I set up a system of getting food to you?

We’d be happy to work out a complete plan that will allow you to save and store food for Second Helpings to pick up (or otherwise receive.) This plan should not involve extensive time or labor on your part.  We’ll make it as easy as possible to handle your surplus and perishable food.

How do I receive credit for my donations?

Donors receive an acknowledgement on Second Helpings’ letterhead at the beginning of the month following the donation.  The acknowledgement will briefly summarize all the food that was donated in the prior month.

How do I get started?

Contact Second Helpings Director of Food Rescue & Transportation, Jon Meinert at (317) 632-2664 ext. 122 or  We’ll work out a plan to help you become a Second Helpings food donor.