About Us

Leveraging technology, we work behind-the-scenes to help those on the front lines feed the hungry.

After successfully launching Prince William Food Rescue as a new program under Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) in August 2019, ACTS has created Northern Virginia Food Rescue (NOVA-FR) as a subsidiary company to start duplicate programs in each county in Northern Virginia.

NOVA-FR is leveraging our experience partnering with 412 Food Rescue in Pittsburgh, PA, and successfully implementing the Prince William Food Rescue program to establish individual county Food Rescue Programs (FRPs) and redistribution operations to improve food resiliency and accessibility for the entire region.

How It All Began

While attending Leadership Prince William (class of 2018), Aaron began looking into the issue of food waste and food insecurity and how organizations were trying to solve this problem around the globe.

 

"There are many amazing companies and people...

…With various solutions, working hard to reduce food waste and redirect healthy foods to feed people instead. I looked at many models, technologies, and programs – did a lot of research – but none of them felt right; I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. And then, one day, in July of 2018, while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw a post from a former Prince William County teacher friend (Jennifer Oliva) who had moved to Pittsburgh. She posted how she had just completed a food rescue with her two-year-old daughter in the back seat and how easy it was! There was a link to 412 Food Rescue – so I checked it out. I was blown away by the impact they had made in just a few years using their technology and immediately downloaded their app to test it out. I found it to be so intuitive, simple, and user-friendly. And that’s when I felt it – yes! This program is terrific! We could be doing this – no – we should be doing this in Prince William County!” –Aaron Tolson

This idea and concept led to an early collaboration with Patrick King, CEO of Imagine, and Steve Liga, CEO of ACTS. The three traveled to visit with the team at 412 Food Rescue for a day and returned determined to bring the program to the county.

ACTS Board approved the new Prince William Food Rescue (PWFR) program in October 2018, and it officially launched in August 2019. Just a few months later and COVID-19 would drastically change the food insecurity landscape. Little did we know just how vital the Food Rescue Hero app would be for our community. Just eighteen months after we launched PWFR, we had rescued over 1.2 million pounds of food, redirected another 13 million pounds of food, and completed over 3,000 direct food deliveries to shut-in families.

In response to the pandemic, we created the Community Feeding Taskforce while simultaneously trying to figure out the best way to provide the same technology and model to surrounding counties experiencing severe food insecurity issues. Because ACTS’ mission is to be a local community organization that provides crisis and human services for just the residents of Greater Prince William, they decided to launch a subsidiary non-profit. ACTS created this non-profit so the purpose and mission could focus on the entire Northern Virginia region. And, the rest, as they say, is history!

Northern Virginia Food Rescue was launched on March 14, 2021. Our team continues to grow, and we have an outstanding Board of Directors.