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Nonprofit

Cultivate Food Rescue

Joined in January 2021

About Us

Cultivate Food Rescue is a nonprofit operating in St. Joseph, Elkhart, and Marshall counties. Cultivate rescues excess food and repurposes it into healthy, nutritious meals for food insecure children in local elementary school systems. Cultivate delivers six meals in backpacks in order to provide schoolchildren with the weekend nutrition they need to show up to school ready and prepared to learn.  

This primary program is supported by two others – a culinary training program and a food pantry network. The culinary training program serves the local food industry, including Cultivate’s food donors, by partnering with South Bend Community School Corp. to offer career training to high school students. Upon graduation, students enter the local workforce which is in great need of cooks and food logisticians. A unique aspect of this program is that the students are preparing food for the meals that are going right back into their own school system.  

Cultivate is also piloting a program that leverages a network of local food pantries to buy perishable, staple items at wholesale and bulk prices. Food pantries regularly run out of perishable items like fresh fruit, vegetables, milk, and bread; items which are necessary for a healthy, nutritious diet. By building a coordinated food pantry stocking and funding partner network, Cultivate is able to leverage purchasing power to greatly reduce costs and offer items to food pantries at steep discounts or for free. 

We are developing a system that rescues excess food, builds partnerships and networks, and connects with those who need it most. In building our model, we have engaged thousands of volunteers and built a network of school systems who are continually asking us to expand. Our emphasis this year is building our capacity to grow this model so that we can meet the needs of those we serve and prevent the cycle of trauma that comes from food insecurity. 

Our mission is to be a national leader in food access innovation in order to rescue excess food, support the local food ecosystem, and meet the nutritional needs of our community. 


Cultivate Food Rescue is a nonprofit operating in St. Joseph, Elkhart, and Marshall counties. Cultivate rescues excess food and repurposes it into healthy, nutritious meals for food insecure children in local elementary school systems…

Issue Areas Include

  • Children & Youth
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Hunger, Food Security
  • Poverty
  • Volunteering

Location & Contact

Current listings by Cultivate Food Rescue

Volunteer +LocationDate Posted
Food Packaging VolunteerSouth Bend, INJanuary 12, 2021

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