CAC Gleaners Perishable Food Recovery Program


Often the solution to a problem seems so obvious that it elicits a question such as, "Why didn't I think of that?" CAC Gleaners is a perfect example of one of those solutions. Since its inception in 1992, CAC Gleaners, originally known as Wisconsin Harvest, has safely recovered perfectly good food from grocers, restaurants, bakeries, and caterers. This food would have otherwise gone to waste in landfills. CAC Gleaners distributes collected food to people in need through shelters, community centers, food pantries, senior centers, soup kitchens, and low-income apartment complexes at no cost.

CAC Gleaners distributes over 1 million pounds of useable food that otherwise would have been thrown away to approximately 100 distribution sites throughout our service area. These donations allow agencies to significantly reduce their food budgets and reallocate money to improve and expand existing programs.

How we do it.
Through a network of over 60 dedicated volunteers and over 100 donors, CAC Gleaners collects and distributes approximately 1 million pounds of food per year to food distribution sites on regularly scheduled distribution routes. CAC coordinates routes with donors and recipient agencies and matches volunteer drivers to those routes. Click here to volunteer.

Why we do it.
We believe no good source of food should go to waste, and no person should go hungry tonight.

Food Safety Curriculum
For food-handling guidelines, packaging instructions, and other pertinent information from our food-safety course, please click on this link: Safe Food Recovery Manual.

Receiving food from CAC Gleaners is easy!
Recipient organizations must serve primarily low-income individuals and be 501c3 or government agencies.  You must also:

  • Receive food safety training.
  • Designate a staff person to oversee the donations.
  • Meet food safety standards.
  • Inspect food upon delivery and discard damaged or unfit items.
  • Accept all delivered food unless other arrangements have been made.

Contact Us
CAC Gleaners currently operates in Dane County.  Please contact CAC for technical assistance if your agency wishes to start a gleaning program in Jefferson or Waukesha Counties.  To learn more about CAC Gleaners or CAC's Food Security Program, contact Harold Bergeman, Food Security Specialist (Food Recovery & Volunteers) at (608) 246-4730 x 207 or

Get Involved

Donate to Gleaners Program

Volunteer for Gleaners Program

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