16th Annual Victorian Tea Honorary Chair, Leah Lizarondo

Leah Lizarondo is the CEO and co-founder of Food Rescue Hero and 412 Food Rescue, social enterprises with a technology, logistics and civic engagement model that aims to fight hunger and promote sustainability by preventing perfectly good food from entering the waste stream and directly distributing to organizations that benefit those who are food insecure. Founded in 2015, 412 Food Rescue is one of the fastest-growing food recovery organizations in the U.S. Creating the infrastructure for national retailers. The technology platform, Food Rescue Hero, has prevented over 8 million pounds of food from going to waste via mobilizing over 8,000 drivers in 5 cities –food rescue heroes–the largest volunteer food transport network. 412 Food Rescue’s innovative distribution model bridges the last mile and significantly impacts access and food security as well as mitigates food waste’s impact on the environment.

Set to expand globally, Leah’s work at 412 Food Rescue has been featured in national media including NPR, Fast Company, FoodTank, Martha Stewart Living, Food & Wine, Saveur, Organic Life, Bust Magazine, Redbook, and Civil Eats. In April 2014, she gave the TEDx Talk “Why the Farm Is Not Getting to the Table.” Leah was named in FoodTank‘s “17 Food Heroes to Inspire Us in 2017″ and in 2018 she was named “Pittsburgher of the Year” by Pittsburgh City Paper. Additionally, Food Rescue Hero was recognized as a CES Innovation 2020 Honoree, received the Carnegie Science Award for Information Technology in 2019 and was Pittsburgh Tech 50’s “StartUp of the Year” in 2018. 

Leah received her graduate degree in Public Policy & Technology from Carnegie Mellon University. She serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Block Center for Technology & Society at Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She was born and raised in the Philippines and currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.