412 Food Rescue Hires New Chief Executive Officer, Alyssa Cholodofsky

The community of Pittsburgh has seen 412 Food Rescue, a non-profit organization working to recover food waste to feed the city, as a haven. After almost 10 years of service, 412 Food Rescue is continuing their mission with the help of newly hired Chief Executive Officer, Alyssa Cholodofsky.

Taking Collaboration a Step Further

Prior to 412 Food Rescue, Alyssa Cholodofsky spent a large portion of her career working in the non-profits of Western Pennsylvania. Before taking this new position, she served as the Chief Program and Policy Officer at the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Cholodofsky plans to use some of her collaboration techniques at United Way to help her transition to 412 Food Rescue.

“A lot of my background with the United Way was building collaborations with multiple partners,” says Cholodofsky. “So, thinking about non-profits, corporate, education, and a wide variety of sectors allows me to bring a lot of people together to focus on helping others. That’s a huge part of what 412 Food Rescue is about, partnerships and relationships.”

Continuing the 412 Food Rescue Mission

From its start in 2015, 412 Food Rescue has made a mission towards not only helping the planet but helping the citizens of Pittsburgh at the same time through food waste recovery. Since its beginnings, the organization has recovered more than 31 million pounds of food, mitigating over 60 million pounds of CO2 emissions in the process. To Cholodofsky, this is just the beginning of what they have to offer. 

“I think we are in a terrific spot and have a great team,” says Cholodofsky. “With the urgency of food insecurity and the environmental issues we’re tackling at the same time, I hope we can scale up a bit more and reach even further around the nation.”

Part of expanding their reach involves focusing on their software platform, Food Rescue Hero. The program is currently being used in various other cities and vocations but there is always room for expansion. 

“The Food Rescue Hero platform was developed by four volunteers at 412 Food Rescue and it allows volunteers and those providing food to connect to food rescues in their area,” explains Cholodofsky. “We know that the issues we’re having are issues across the country and even across the world so the platform has become a really great way to make a difference.”

Finding Community at Home

But Cholodofsky’s passion for the job goes far beyond the basics of 412 Food Rescue’s mission. For her, it’s the community of Pittsburgh and the people she works with that have made an impact on her personally. 

“The position just speaks to me since it involves a passion for human services and even just helping people meet their basic needs,” says Cholodofsky. “It’s very people driven, so when you get donations from a restaurant, you talk to people and then when you take it to the food rescue, you talk to more people. It’s so nice to have that interface that’s actually personal where you get to make real connections” 

Those looking to learn more about 412 Food Rescue or help with their initiative can access their website or download the app to start a personal mission of rescuing food.

Story by Kylie Thomas / Photo Courtesy of 412 Food Rescue

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