Getting fresh food into the hands of people who need it

Our Mission

At Urban Gleaners we collect delicious, fresh food before it can go to waste. And we get it to people who need it. Pure and simple.

Our Vision

Urban Gleaners strives to eliminate all barriers to accessing nourishing food to ultimately create a resilient system that celebrates food as a fundamental right in a just society.

What we do

Urban Gleaners successfully addresses two of the major systemic issues plaguing our country during these unprecedented times: eliminating food waste while simultaneously redistributing this food to our community members who need it most. We proudly identify not only as a hunger-relief organization but also as a highly successful environmental sustainability agency.

Our role is to provide a critical link between businesses or farms that have excess food and the food insecure people who need it. Wasted food degrades the human experience and damages lives; we are committed to repairing that harm and preventing it from afflicting others.

Unlike traditional food banks and food pantries, we offer a range of nutritious, healthy foods (produce, meat, dairy, grains) that children need for healthy development directly to food-insecure families, and we do it in an equitable way that celebrates food as a fundamental right in a just society.

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How we do it

Step One

Collect Donations

We pick up from our growing roster of donor restaurants, grocery stores, corporate campuses, event sites, colleges and universities, farms, and food wholesalers.

Step two

Sort & Package

At our Central Portland warehouse, we sort and package the donated food ensuring that we are only redistributing the highest quality and wholesome food

Step Three

Prep &

We utilize the best available ingredients to cook and prepare fresh and delicious pre-packaged meals. This program helps offer a more robust food selection at our markets.

Step Four

Free Food Markets

We have over 40 sites located in Multnomah and Washington counties. We deliver food where families can shop in an equitable and dignified way, no questions asked.

Our Climate Commitment

Our food system is radically inefficient, and has excessive impacts across our climate, natural resources, food insecurity, and the economy. Food production uses 80% of all freshwater consumed in the US, a valuable and limited resource. At the same time, 40% of food that is produced is never eaten. This surplus food still requires enormous resources to grow, transport, harvest, and serve – even if it’s thrown away.

Food waste is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills, where it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

We know that the heaviest burdens from climate change unjustly fall on the shoulders of marginalized communities. Urban Gleaners is committed to mitigating the impacts of surplus food on our local waste stream by collecting and distributing edible food to our most at-risk neighbors. We believe that small, everyday actions can make a lasting impact on our climate and our people.

Tracy’s Small-batch Granola

100% of the profits from Tracy’s Small-batch Granola go to support Urban Gleaners. Handmade here in Portland, this delicious granola features dried cherries and pecans. Find it at local Zupan’s, New Seasons, Whole Foods and Market of Choice stores.

Frequently Asked Questions

For everyone:

The traditional sense of the word means gathering the useful remnants of a crop from the field after harvesting. Historically, this has been an important practice to improve food security within communities.

At Urban Gleaners, we take this traditional practice and apply it to our urban environment by collecting perfectly good, unused food from grocery stores, restaurants, and corporate kitchens that would have otherwise gone to waste. We are then able to close the gap between waste and want by distributing that nutritious food to children and families in our area.

We receive food from grocery stores (New Seasons, Zupans, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc.), corporate kitchens (Nike, Intel, Columbia, etc.), university kitchens (Reed College, Lewis and Clark, University of Portland) and local farms (Wild Roots Farm, 47th Ave. Farm, Zenger Farm, etc.). The food is sorted and is then sent out to our Free Food Markets in Multnomah and Washington counties. We partner with schools, low-income housing communities, parks, and community centers to get the food to people who need it most.

Our waitlist to start an ongoing Free Food Market is currently closed. Note: We are not looking to partner with any religious-affiliated organizations right now – we’re seeking to continue providing secular-based services.

Yes! There is an alternative option for schools and organizations that have an established food resource Market or something similar. If you are interested in learning more, please email our Program Manager at

For customers:

No. Throughout the week, we have 22 public Free Food Market sites across Multnomah and Washington Counties. You can find the total market schedule and map here to find the best market for your needs.

No. 17 out of 22 public free food markets are no questions asked. We strive to provide a barrier-free opportunity for folks to access food for any reason. If you are receiving Urban Gleaners food, there will be no questions asked. Food for all!

For food donors:

No. You are protected under both state and federal Good Samaritan laws that were designed both to encourage donation of needed foods and to protect donors.

Information on the Good Samaritan Law

  • Cornell Law School Section C. 1-4 highlights the laws around both nonprofit and individual liability.
  • ReFED’s Oregon Liability Protection regulations around labels for donated food. ReFED highlights that donated food is exempt from the sale of food labeling regulations in Oregon.

Yes. You may stop by the warehouse anytime between 9am and 3pm Monday-Saturday to make a personal donation. We take unopened dry goods up to one year expired, unopened frozen items, baby formula and food that is not expired, and fresh items that are still good to eat. We always suggest asking yourself, “Would you eat it?”

For volunteers:

Please visit the volunteer page on our website to find out more about our volunteer opportunities or email Important things to note- We do not offer group volunteer opportunities and volunteers must be 18+ years of age.