Argo AI, 412 Food Rescue, and Parkhurst Launch Autonomous Food Delivery

Service to bring fresh, nutritious food to Pittsburgh neighbors facing food insecurity, while combating food waste 

PITTSBURGH, August 16, 2022 — To help tackle food insecurity, leading autonomy products and services company Argo AI has partnered with 412 Food Rescue and Parkhurst Dining to launch an autonomous vehicle delivery service to transport surplus food to local nonprofits in Pittsburgh. 

The service will pair Argo autonomous vehicles with 412 Food Rescue partners to pick up and transport meals to nonprofits who offer food assistance and supplies in the region. Argo will also donate and deliver meals prepared by its food service provider, Parkhurst Dining, from its headquarters in the Strip District of Pittsburgh.

“We’re driven by our purpose of reimagining the human journey, and that includes ensuring self-driving vehicles are broadening access to transportation and goods to everyone in the communities where we operate,” said Summer Fowler, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, Argo AI. “We see an opportunity for autonomous vehicles to offer reliable delivery of food donations to address food insecurity, and we are proud to launch this initiative with 412 Food Rescue and Parkhurst.”

412 Food Rescue, the world’s fastest growing and largest volunteer food recovery organization, was developed and first launched in Pittsburgh in 2015 to mobilize volunteers to redistribute surplus food from retailers and businesses to local partners supporting community members facing food insecurity. The Food Rescue Hero (FRH) Network, comprising 14 partnering food recovery organizations, serves more than 25 cities, including Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Northern Virginia, Los Angeles, Des Moines, Newark and Essex County, and Vancouver. Together the FRH Network demonstrates its impact in mitigating climate change and hunger through food recovery, celebrating 100 million pounds of food recovered as of July 2022. 412 Food Rescue, in partnership with the FRH Network, has proven collaboration brings greater impact, and has become a key testing ground for innovative solutions to positively impact food waste and nutrition insecurity.

“412 Food Rescue has always aimed to modernize food recovery to make donating surplus food easier for businesses, and delivering that food immediately, making food access convenient for people in need,” said Leah Lizarondo, co-founder and CEO, 412 Food Rescue. “We believe in using every tool in our technological toolbox to get food to people who need it, and we’re excited to explore how one of the most innovative technologies we’ve seen in Pittsburgh can be used for good through our partnership with Argo.”

In Pittsburgh alone, one in five residents face food insecurity today. Between food deserts, lack of adequate transportation or time required to visit food pantries during regular business hours, food access continues to be a problem. Yet up to forty percent of food around the world goes to waste. Self-driving vehicles can play an important role in the food recovery ecosystem by connecting businesses directly with nonprofit partner organizations who serve the unique needs of our food insecure neighbors. 

“As a longstanding partner of 412 Food Rescue, Parkhurst Dining and Eat’n Park Hospitality Group are passionate about addressing food insecurity,” said Jeff Broadhurst, President and CEO, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group. “We are thrilled to partner with a forward-thinking organization like Argo to offer a truly innovative solution to this problem that is rooted in our shared desire to care for the community around us.”

Redirecting food and supplies to those lacking access is one of the many ways self-driving cars can benefit communities, serve the underserved, and address common challenges facing cities today. Argo previously volunteered its expertise in smart route planning and fleet operations to manage the pick up and delivery of Covid test kits to ensure timely collection and distribution in the early stages of the pandemic, working with the Allegheny County Health Department, Curative Inc., and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. To further build the critical relationships with community members necessary to meet its mission of accessibility for all, Argo established Community Advisory Boards (CAB) in Miami and Austin, two of the key markets for deploying Argo’s commercial autonomous ridesharing and goods delivery services. The CABs comprise business, neighborhood, academic, and entrepreneurial leaders and enable Argo to listen, learn, and help build trust in self-driving technology by understanding the unique challenges and needs of each community. 

About Argo AI

Argo AI is a global autonomy products and services company headquartered in Pittsburgh, with additional engineering centers located in Detroit; Cranbury, NJ; Los Angeles; Palo Alto; and Munich, Germany. Since 2016, the company has been on a mission to make the world’s streets and roadways safe, accessible, and useful for all. With a team of more than 2,000 people across the U.S. and Europe, Argo designs its Argo Autonomy Platform and Solutions to support autonomous ridesharing and goods delivery to benefit communities around the world. For more information regarding Argo, please visit www.argo.ai.

About 412 Food Rescue

Driven by the belief that good food belongs to people, not landfills, 412 Food Rescue launched in Pittsburgh, PA in March 2015 to divert fresh food from getting wasted to people facing food insecurity. Today it’s the largest volunteer food rescue organization in the country with a growing community of 20,000+ volunteers. Since 87% of the food for pick up is fresh, timely delivery is essential. The 412 Food Rescue app makes claiming food rescues easy and convenient, guiding each volunteer every step of the way from pick up to delivery, yielding a 99% service rate by the volunteer fleet, outperforming many commercial delivery services. 

In the United States, as much as 40 percent of food produced is wasted while 1 in 8 people go hungry. To date, 412 Food Rescue has diverted more than 21 million pounds of food waste in Western Pennsylvania, the equivalent of 18 million meals, and mitigated 12 million pounds of CO2 emissions in the process. On a monthly basis, the organization works with 260 food retailers and 320 nonprofit partners. 412 Food Rescue is powered by thousands of volunteers and Food Rescue Hero®, the only food recovery platform purposefully designed to make greater impact, together.

About Parkhurst Dining

Parkhurst Dining was established in 1996 as a division of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group. It provides dining services to corporations and independent colleges and universities. With operations in 15 states, Parkhurst is passionate about providing authentic culinary experiences for its clients, empowering its chefs to serve handcrafted food and flavors personally designed for guests. Parkhurst believes in “Knowing Your Source” and partnering with the finest local, family-owned farms and producers of food in its communities for fresh products, right from the neighborhood.