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City Harvest delivers free surplus food to people across London facing food poverty

City Harvest food charity delivering free surplus food to Women's Inclusive Team, Tower Hamlets

Organise a Food Drive

Hosting a food collection in your workplace, school or community centre is a brilliant way for everyone to get involved and help make a difference in our local communities.

Your time, money, and food equals a big difference with City Harvest food charity

Try it now!

Calculate the environmental impact of donating food to City Harvest.

We are supported by

City of London
whole foods market
Quality Food Awards

Retailer & Brand Authorisations

The brands listed below all authorise their own-label products to be sent to City Harvest for onward charity redistribution.



Supported Charities & Partnership News

The Fruiterers support City Harvest London

The Fruiterers support City Harvest London

The Fruiterers’, part of the Livery Food Initiative supporting food rescue charity, City Harvest, give out apples in support of the London charity on the Lord Mayor’s City Giving Day, October 2023.

City Harvest makes an impact with LEYF nurseries

City Harvest makes an impact with LEYF nurseries

City Harvest free food has been making an impact with LEYF nurseries across London, utilising surplus food to help support children from disadvantaged backgrounds with additional hours at nursery. These children are ineligible for the extra hours simply because their parents are either unemployed or on low incomes. LEYF, alongside City Harvest, is on a mission to provide equal opportunities to all children, giving them the step up they need in life through nutritious food and early years stimulation.

Royal Ascot supports City Harvest

Royal Ascot supports City Harvest

City Harvest surplus food partner, Royal Ascot, supports the food charity with over 5,000 meals worth of catered food surplus from racing events this summer.

Food Donor FAQ's

What types of food can you accept?

We accept all types of food, ambient, chilled, frozen.

We accept surplus food from all parts of the food supply chain that occurs due to things like:

  • New product development testing
  • Order cancellations 
  • Packaging errors and damage 
  • Quality rejects 
  • Out of date product past its best before date 
  • Discontinued product lines 
  • Obsolete seasonal stock 
  • Machinery failure and start-up calibrations 
  • Strict sell-by dates 
  • Consumer demand for cosmetically perfect produce 
  • Packaging/branding changes 
  • Sales forecasting errors

What are the guidelines on the food you can take?

We can collect all kinds of products including chilled and frozen, and we’re able to blast-freeze products at our warehouse to extend product life.  

  • Food must be unopened, in its original packaging. We can take products with damaged packaging as long as the food itself is not exposed.  
  • Food must have labels with ingredients, allergens and best-before/use-by dates.  
  • Ideally, food will have 2-3 days before its ‘use by’ date to allow for redistribution through our charity partners, although we can often take food on its ‘use by’ date.   
  • We can take most food past its best before date and are able to officially extend best-before dates. 
  • Food must be stored indoors and at the correct temperature until we collect. 

Is there anything that you cannot accept?

  • We cannot take hot food however we can work with you to help rescue securely packaged catered food that is safely chilled or frozen.
  • We cannot take food past its ‘use by’ date (however we can accept food past best before). 
  • Alcoholic beverages or products containing alcohol. 
  • Open packages where food can be exposed to cross-contamination. 

How do I make a food donation?

Once you’ve identified the food you want to give us, you can fill out this form, email us or call us on 0207 041 8491 with the following information:  

  • type of food  
  • best before/use by dates  
  • storage type (ambient, chilled or frozen)  
  • amount available (number of pallets, kilograms or units)  
  • if unsure, you can also send us a photo of the goods  

If products need to be collected:  

  • collection address  
  • when we can collect (days and times)  
  • collection contact email address and phone number  

If delivering:  

  • when we can expect delivery  
  • haulier (if any)  

Where can you collect from?

We’ll collect within the M25 using one of our own vehicles or will use third party haulage outside of London. 

Can City Harvest accept deliveries?

Yes, our warehouse operating hours are: Monday – Friday, 07.00 – 19.00 & Saturday, 08.00 – 15.00 

Are your vans temperature controlled?

All of our vehicles are temperature controlled and able to safely transport chilled and frozen goods. 

Can you take products past their best before date?

Yes, before dates are about quality, not safety, so we are able to officially extend best before dates. Extensions depend on the type of product so please get in touch with our team to discuss. 

What happens to food once City Harvest receives it?

All of the food that we receive first comes to one our London depots, where it is sorted and checked by our staff and volunteer teams. Each item is then categorised and packed, ready to be loaded onto a van and delivered to one of our 375+ charities. 

Can our office organise a food drive for City Harvest?

Yes, please – please get in touch with our team at or call us on 0207 041 8491 and we’ll be happy to help.

Who does the food go to?

City Harvest delivers nutritious surplus to 375+ charities across greater London feeding people facing food insecurity. Recipients span all areas of need, including; homeless shelters, soup kitchens, community centres, food banks, children’s programmes, schools, and more. Free food provision frees up budgets so partners can provide additional, vital services. 

Can you return equipment to us?

We can return trays and farm equipment to your site.

Why use City Harvest alongside other food redistributors?

We can often collect stock they can’t. Food that is very short dated or packaged incorrectly will make the products unsuitable for some food redistributors.  

We have a team of over 2,000 volunteers who help us to grade, sort and repackage items, saving you labour and time on redistribution.  

Collaboration. We’re part of the Xcess Network of national redistribution charities, and we work collaboratively with other food redistributors like FareShare and The Bread and Butter Thing to ensure no food is wasted and that it gets to the right people. 

How can City Harvest support you?

  • Corporate Volunteer Experience Days at City Harvest  
  • Supporting your social and environmental impact messaging with our Impact Reports as well as marketing support. 
  • We offer bespoke solutions for all types of food.  
  • Conduct ‘Waste walks’ to help you unlock hidden food surplus throughout your supply chain. 

What are your delivery/ collection times?

  • We can accept delivery of food to our Acton warehouse at short notice Monday through Friday between 7am and 7pm, and Saturday between 8am and 3pm. 
  • We can collect within the M25, with a minimum 24 hours’ notice Monday through Friday between 7am and 4pm, and Saturday between 7am and 2pm (depending on location). Minimum collection amount is 50kg.  
  • We can also collect outside the M25 for a minimum amount of 1 pallet (min 250kg).