Retail Recovery Program

The Retail Recovery program ensures that volumes of food get used rather than tossed.

One of the most frustrating facets of hunger in any region is to see perfectly good food thrown away rather than given away to people in need. Here in Central Virginia, we work together with our supporters in the grocery industry to reduce this food waste. This program allows our Food Distribution Center to collect the perishable but still usable foods that food retailers can no longer sell in time to get the food into the hands of those who will consume it within 24 to 48 hours.

For many years, major grocery chains including Food Lion, Kroger, Walmart, and Martin’s (formerly Ukrops) made this highly nutritious but perishable food available direct to some of our feeding partners located close to the stores. This arrangement has provided millions of pounds of deli meat, bread/bakery items, and produce. Year after year, local partner agencies have received large quantities through the Retail Recovery program, but more food remained to be rescued and put to good use.

Beginning in August 2008, our Retail Recovery effort began gathering local food so that grocers didn’t have to toss it and feeding partners could easily obtain it. Today, Central Virginia Food Bank trucks recover food from 24 Martin’s stores, 16 Kroger locations, 12 Walmarts, 4 Sam’s Club sites, as well as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It takes 49 weekly pick-ups to gather the food received through Retail Recovery.

Is your agency interested in participating in the Retail Recovery program?
Click here to access our Partner Agency Inquiry form. Use this form to let us know if your church, school, or 501c3 is interested in becoming a new Partner Agency, or if you are a current Partner Agency and would like to begin additional programs through the Food Bank.


  • 1. Peanut Butter
  • 2. Canned Tuna & Chicken
  • 3. Low Sodium Veggies
  • 4. Fruits Packed in Juice
  • 5. Spaghetti Sauce (No Glass)
  • 6. Canned or Dry Beans
  • 7. Hot & Cold Cereal
  • 8. Whole Grain Snacks


working together to feed more