Pleasant Hill’s White Pony Express has received top honors from two nationally recognized groups that monitor charities. Both groups celebrated the nonprofit’s ability to rescue perishable food and get it into the mouths of those who need it.

White Pony recently received word that the premier nonprofit rating group Charity Navigator has awarded it their highest rating possible — 100 percent and 4 stars. Charity Navigator is the largest of its kind in the U.S. It evaluates the financial health, accountability, and transparency of thousands of U.S. nonprofit organizations.

Charity Navigator flew three of its highest rated nonprofits — White Pony Express among them — to its New Jersey headquarters as part of its 20th anniversary celebration. According to a statement from White Pony, the event’s host said “Because of WPE’s great work and outstanding rating on Charity Navigator, they were at the top of the list of organizations to highlight!”

The Pleasant Hill charity said fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of nonprofits earn a perfect score from Charity Navigator.

Platinum certified

The group was also recently honored by the organization Candid, which awarded WPE its platinum seal of transparency — its highest accolade. Candid works for transparency in the social sector and makes valuable information about nonprofits available to the public.

Eve Birge, the executive director of White Pony Express, said in a statement, “We are honored by the recognition from Charity Navigator and Candid. This is a reflection of the heartfelt dedication of our founder, volunteers, and staff team.”

“Together we have built a gold standard, replicable food rescue organization that will eliminate hunger when taken to scale,” Birge said. “These awards show that the work of WPE is deeply impactful, fiscally responsible, and totally transparent.”

WPE’s Food Rescue Program operates seven days a week, rescuing a daily average of more than 12,000 pounds of high-quality, surplus, fresh food from over 50 local food outlets. The food is redistributed for free within 24 hours to 90 nonprofit partner recipients who feed the hungry of Contra Costa County.