A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

Sister Hook-Up

Jan 26, 2010 - Initial Posting: Feb 22, 2005

The Capital Area Food Bank coordinates Sister Hook-Up to provide member agencies with donations of edible food items that would otherwise be discarded by local supermarkets.


The Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) coordinates Sister Hook-Up to link member agencies with local supermarkets and restaurants with perishable food that is still edible but for a variety of reasons will be discarded.  The agencies make arrangements to pick up the salvageable food at their assigned location.

Examples of items that are involved include day-old bread, outdated dairy products, overripe produce, mislabeled products, or cans damaged in shipment.  It is not feasible for the retailer or the Food Bank to handle distribution of these items.  Therefore, the Food Bank “hooks-up” individual agencies with participating stores and restaurants.  Agencies involved include soup kitchens, retirement homes, rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters, etc.

Agencies complete a Sister Hook-Up Program Application Form to indicate an interest in participating.  Agencies meet directly with store managers to determine pickup days and times.  This helps ensure that agencies come to the stores at convenient times and when the maximum amount of unsellable food is available.  An Agreement Form is completed between the member agency and the retailer.  Items collected by stores during special food drives are provided to the designated agency in addition to items that would normally be received.

Stores involved in CAFB’s Sister Hook-Up initiative include large supermarket chains such as Safeway and Giant Food, as well as smaller groceries and restaurants.


Giant Food, Inc. has at least one Food Bank member agency “hooked up” at every on of their stores.  In total, they donate approximately 2 million pounds of food to participating agencies annually.


Marian Peele, Director of Agency Relations
202.526.5344 ext. 223