We Connect

Healthy Food to Hungry people

We know there is plenty of food available. 40% of food is estimated to end up in landfills instead of reaching the tables of families in need. 


Our goal is to connect the fresh, healthy, available food in our area to people who need assistance – before it goes to waste.


It’s amazing how much food goes to waste. You can read about it and see the numbers, but seeing it and lifting it makes it real. In most US locations, there is plenty of food, it just needs to get to the people who need it.”


– Mike – Food Rescue Volunteer since 2019

Our Process

It may sound like a lot but our process is simple!

  1. We Collect food from grocery stores, local farms, orchards, and other organizations that have a surplus.
  2. Depending on the donated food, we use our commercial kitchen to Cook or process items that need a longer shelf life or extra help to make it easy to eat.
  3. Finally, we Connect these fresh groceries and our prepared meals to those in need through local hunger relief organizations, food pantries, and our weekly distribution.

Step 1: Collect food!

We receive donations of all kinds of food from a variety of organizations that want to help break the cycle of food waste. Volunteers pick up food and connect it to people and hunger relief partners throughout the week, but the first step to feeding people is getting the food!

Over 6,500 pounds of food is picked up and delivered to the Second Chance Foods Kitchen throughout an average week—our amazing volunteers unpack and sort items based on freshness, quantities and potential use. That means donations come in Saturday, Sunday, and Monday that we cook with on Tuesday and distribute Wednesday. More food continues to arrive on Wednesday and Thursday that we cook with Friday or Saturday when it starts all over again. And that’s not even including the summer produce harvested from local farms like Hilltop Hanover and Glynwood or large donations of single items like 1,000 pounds of peaches from local orchards or 160 pounds of beef shanks! 

Other Donations

Additional Donations

While grocery stores and farms provide ongoing food, sometimes we receive special donations. From private orchards to restaurant suppliers, we love the opportunity to disrupt the cycle of food waste.

If you're interested in donating food please contact Info@SecondChanceFoods.org or fill out our contact form below.

Step 2: Make Healthy Eating Easy!

It’s always our goal to make it easy and delicious to eat well. That’s why we love including fresh produce with our ready-made meals, so our recipients have an ever-changing variety of options, just like if they were shopping for their families.

We receive different quantities and types of food from grocery stores, farms, and other organizations from week to week. It can be a complicated puzzle to make sure we use what is donated in the best way we can while making healthy eating easy. But, no matter what we receive, the plan remains the same- to cook healthy and delicious meals that people want to eat.

Fresh Groceries

Fresh First!

Many items are still in peak condition when we receive them, both from the farm and the grocery store. So, to provide our recipients with variety and choice of what and how to feed themselves, we pass along items like eggs, yogurt, steak, salmon, fresh fruits and veggies, bread, and many other pantry stables exactly how we received them!

Prepared Meals

Nourishing Meal Options

We create meal options that make eating healthy without giving up flavor! So often, when someone is experiencing food insecurity, they're in a crisis; we are honored to help take the stress away from eating and ensure that they have something delicious and nourishing to feed their families while focusing on what's important.

Due to the recent legislation, grocery stores must donate all food they do not sell. Some of this food is no longer edible, and we move it directly to compost. Other items may have blemishes, wilts, or marks and need a little care to transform into something tasty - That's when we utilize our kitchen!

The Second Chance Foods Kitchen

Creating Meals with Love and Care

Since we work with recovered food, we must be resourceful and creative! That means every week is a new puzzle to solve. While we can pass on a lot of this food to our food pantry partners as-is, the kitchen is a crucial part of our mission by elevating the health of those we serve while also reducing waste.

Here are some of the many factors we consider every week!

We already mentioned prioritizing what may spoil sooner, but we also want to reduce additional waste in our kitchen. That means substituting and adding ingredients for what we have on hand and getting creative with our scraps. For example, we love to make broth or stock and are known for packing as many mixed vegetables as possible into a dish.

How many people are helping? What is their skill level and age? We love new volunteers and don’t want them to have a stressful experience, so we adjust the meals based on who and how many people will be making it. Some meals involve a lot of prep, so the more hands helping peel, chop, slice, the more complex meals we can create.

Who we are cooking for is incredibly important. Are we cooking for younger kids or older adults? What time of year is it? In July, we made sure our recipients could reheat the meals we distributed without heating their whole house. Sometimes meals need to be freezable- other times, we need a meal that can work for more than one group. While we have favorite recipes, we frequently cook; creating variety in our meals also makes healthy and happy people!

The kitchen also has to be flexible and creative when it comes to the time we have to cook. That includes utilizing our equipment wisely. Our volunteers may use our six-burner stove, ten rack oven, multiple electric pressure cookers, induction burners, rice cooker & food dehydrators all in one day!

Step 3: Connect Healthy, Delicious Food to Hungry People

We’re often asked where our food goes- We’re proud that the answer is- everywhere! We work closely with multiple food pantries, community organizations, and haven even created our own weekly box program to distribute the food we collect, harvest, and cook to those who need it in our community. 


If you or someone you know is in need of hunger relief – please contact us at Info@SecondChanceFoods.org 

We currently partner with:

    • Putnam CAP – Brewster, NY 
    • Brewster Community Food Pantry
    • Patterson Food Pantry
    • St John’s Food Pantry – Mahopac, NY
    • Gilead Food Pantry – Carmel, NY
    • Philipstown Food Pantry – Cold Spring, NY
    • Fishkill Food Pantry 
    • Let It Shine Food Pantry – Verplank, NY 
    • Newburgh Ministries – Newburgh, NY
    • Church of the Holy Spirit – Cortlandt Manor, NY
    • Mount Carmel Baptist Church – Carmel, NY
    • Ossining Food Pantry
    • Hope on a Mission – Poughkeepsie, NY
    • Fareground – Beacon, NY
    • New Era Creative Space at Dunbar Heights- Peekskill, NY
    • Pacific House Homeless Shelter- Danbury, CT
    • Salvation Army – Peekskill, NY
    • Putnam Valley and Cold Spring Senior Centers (with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam) 

Starting in April 2020, we wanted to help protect our most vulnerable neighbors and provide them with healthy meals and food. A true community partnership, we worked with County Legislator Toni Addonizio and Mount Carmel Baptist Church to create a weekly home delivery of fresh groceries and nourishing meals! 


Watch this short video for a look inside one of our boxes!


If  you or someone you know is in need of hunger relief – please contact us at Info@SecondChanceFoods.org  

We are always looking for partners in food rescue and hunger relief. Some organizations need help on a regular basis, while others are less regular. If you’re interested in becoming a partner with us please contact us at Info@SecondChanceFoods.org

Will you join us in breaking the cycle of food waste?

Trader Joe’s is one of our regular amazing donors. Three times a week we have volunteers pick up food they are no longer able to sell based on their sell-by-date, aesthetics, and supply/demand. 

We receive from everything from boxes of fresh produce like Brussel Sprouts, avocados, and sweet potatoes to cases of frozen meats and fish like Wild Alaskan Salmon, Filet Mignon and Organic Chicken Breasts. 

Over the last 6 years, Second Chance Foods has helped connect over 850,000 pounds of usable food to people in need. In 2021 we rescued 266,080 pounds of avocados, bananas, eggs, meats, and so much more! 

Our farm partners donate everything you’d expect to come off a local farm … cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, healthy greens, summer & winter squashes, bell peppers, carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, radishes, and so many more tasty varieties of produce. 

Local gardener Rich Robbins grows a large organic garden for Second Chance Foods to harvest and distribute from. This garden provides first-quality produce that we distribute to hunger relief partners both as produce, and in prepared meals.

During the growing season we receive regular donations from both Hillttop Hanover Farm and Glynwood Farm. These donations equal many thousands of pounds of fresh, healthy produce. We have other farm partners who donate on a less regular schedule including SPACE on Ryder Farm and Fishkill Farms. We also receive large donations from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County Glean Team.

From June-October, we have opportunities to help harvest!  

contact us

We’d love to talk with you more!

P.O. Box 93

Carmel, NY10512


Contact Us

Looking for food?

Though we wish we could nourish everyone in need, Second Chance Foods does not directly distribute meals or groceries to individuals at this time. We utilize existing programs in the community and supplement their food with our meals and groceries. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please refer to our resource page here for our partnerships and local options.

Mailing Address:

P.O.Box 93
Carmel, NY 10512

Kitchen Address:

120 Marvin Ave Brewster, NY 10509

*please note we do not keep "hours" at the kitchen at this time. If you are looking to donate food please contact Kathryn@SecondChanceFoods.org or call 845-723-1302


General Questions please contact Associate Director Stephanie Purcell 845-723-1311

Volunteer Questions contact Volunteer Coordinator Heather Marinelli 845-723-1309

Contact Form

Second Chance Foods is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

EIN# 81-0996695