Food Runners

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Trader Joe's & Food Runners: An Anniversary Worth Celebrating

By: Ashlee Thompson, Dispatcher

This year marks the 25th anniversary since Trader Joe’s began donating to Food Runners. From the start of our partnership until now, we estimate that with the donations from Trader Joe’s we have been able to feed over 1,000,000 meals to people in need. 

Chalkboard on display for shoppers to view at Trader Joe's Masonic St

Through what Trader Joe’s calls their Neighborhood Shares Program they donate 100% of all unsold products to local food recovery agencies across the country daily. Most of these products are nutritious items such as produce, meat, dairy, eggs, baked goods, and prepared/prepackaged meals. Flowers and potted plants are also donated and are a bringer of joy to our 200+ recipients throughout the city.

Snapshots of various items donated by Trader Joe's

All six Trader Joe’s located in San Francisco donate to Food Runners on a regular basis. Most of these donations go directly to our recipients, while some ingredients come to Waller Kitchen to be turned into individually prepared meals that are prepped, packed, and delivered by our volunteers.

While reflecting on 2020, Trader Joe’s shared in a statement, “This past year, as our communities faced exceptional challenges, we continued in this important everyday effort to support people in need. In 2020, we donated nearly $345 million dollars of food and beverages, which equates to approximately 69 million meals provided to our neighbors across the country.”

Left: Food Runners driver, Perla Villa, poses with a van full of donations.
Center: Recipients of Trader Joe's donations pose for a photos.
Right: Photo of my car full to the brim after picking up donations.

Our relationship with Trader Joe’s has allowed Food Runners to help The Neighborhood Shares Program with their goal that these important donations are equitably distributed to a diverse group of recipients in our neighborhoods.­ While also allowing Food Runners to fulfill our mission of alleviating hunger, preventing waste, and creating community in San Francisco. 

For more information about the Trader Joe’s Neighborhood Share Program visit a location near you or head to

Thank you to Trader Joe’s and thank you for your support of Food Runners.