FOOD FINDERS INC

Rating: 4.91 stars   44 reviews

Issues: Food

Location: 3434 Atlantic Ave Long Beach CA 90807 USA

Mission: THE ORGANIZATION SERVES AS A CONDUIT PROVIDING FOOD TO FEED THE IMPOVERISHED AND HUNGRY PEOPLE THROUGHOUT LOS ANGELES AND ORANGE COUNTIES. THE ORGANIZATION FUNCTIONS AS A REFERRAL SOURCE AND RESOURCE LINK BETWEEN DONORS, SERVICE AGENCIES, AND THE PEOPLE IN NEED.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 33-0412749
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Both my church and I have donated to Food Finders, both money and articles for resale in their shop. We are very impressed by their ability to procure thousands of pounds of food each week from caterers, restaurants and grocery stores and distribute it, using volunteers, to not-for-profit agencies in the Long Beach area that have feeding programs for the homeless, and well as resident programs for those in need and in recovery. They do it all on a shoe-string budget, and with very little fanfare. But the good they do is incalculable, and many local agencies would be at a great loss without their efforts.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing agencies received their distributions of food and be able to feed their clients with it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

wish they had more volunteers and more money to meet their expenses for collection trucks and gas.

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Food Finders is an amazing organization. I met founder Arlene Meyer at a professional gathering for nonprofit leaders. She shared her story of starting Food Finders to help serve the community and prevent waste of resources. Once, this organization picked up a surplus of fresh pineapples from the Port of Long Beach. That beautiful fruit didn't go to waste, it was distributed out to needy organizations at no charge. Every donation to this organization makes a difference in someone's life, whether it is a single can of food or a fat check.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Long Beach, CA community

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find ways to expand it across the United States

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Food Finders has been a blessing to our organization, as we receive some of their donated food for our families. We have seen, especially of late, that many of the families we'er serving are struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month and need some groceries to hold them over until their next paycheck. Food finders enables us to provide these families with some bags of groceries and fresh produce to help them until they can be paid again.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We offer the food and produce provided by Food Finders to our families in need.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Food Finders, centrally located here in Long Beach, is the true brainchild of one individual. Arlene Mercer had the idea, after seeing how much perfectly edible food was thrown away every year, to start an effort to get the supplies to needy, hungry people. Now, more than 30 years later, Food Finders is giving to agencies all through SoCal to help to ease hunger pains. They find creative ways to provide; our mayor actively spearheads a drive throughout and beyond the holiday season. Even better (in my animal-loving opinion), the organization has teamed up to provide pet food as well--pets are family, too!

Food Finders, according to its website, has only nine employees but over 300 volunteers intent on helping needy individuals. I donate every years. Want to join me?

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the huge generosity offered by our community here in Long Beach.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do absolutely nothing.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Foodfinders supports several of the community service organizations that I am involved with, amongst them the Urban Drop-in Center which feeds 350 homeless people on Sundays, St. Francis center which feeds the poor and homeless dinners Mon-Fri, and Centro Shalom, who help immigrants and the working poor with food, clothing and legal aid. (all in Long Beach, CA) All of the interactions with FoodFinders have been so smooth, so professional. Everything runs like a clock (unusual in non-profits!) and is done with so much consideration and respect for their clients. I can't say enough about them!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing how many people count on the food that would be going to waste otherwise.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Grow it even bigger!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am the Vice-President for the Long Beach Basket Brigade. We are a local agency that has had the priviledge to work with Food Finders for the past 7 years. They have been crucial in identifying hundreds of Long Beach families in need of food and assisting us in our mission to serve them. This past year Food Finders assisted us in feeding 826 Long Beach families in need. They are a tremendous value to our community and deserve any financial assistance available. They are a true example of service and action!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing hundreds of families fed during the Thanksgiving holiday.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None at this time

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As a director of volunteers, it is almost always a sure bet that potential volunteers will decide to work for FF. Their mission, vision and service seem to be a perfect match for someone that is looking to volunteer, without a lot of "pre-training" and emotional attachment to individual clients. Volunteers are able to work at varied schedules which appeals to those still in the workforce as well as those retired. The flexibility of the assignment is a valuable asset in the recruitment of volunteers. And the work they accomplish is amazing!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being able to have community agencies call when special events are held and there is excess quality foods that can be donated instead of thrown away. The community benefits from all aspects of the program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

For as long as I have had an association with Food Finders, I can see no changes needed.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My partner and I have worked for Food Finders for two years. Our route is to transfer food on the 3rd Sunday of each month from the Weston Hotel Sunday Brunch (leftovers) to The Drop In Center (food kitchen, computer lab, safe haven) held in the First Congregational Church downtown Long Beach. When we arrive at the church, there are people, (families, couples, homeless, disabled) standing in line around the block. This is only one of several food kitchens in the downtown Long Beach area, and the need for food is overwhelming. The Weston leftovers supplement the food prepared at the Drop in Center. Food Finders is doing everything they can to support, but there is a larger demand than supply. This is an amazing organization which really helps people in need with a unique idea to reduce waste and move excess food directly to those in need. GO FOODFINDERS!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We've had the opportunity to get to know some of the people personally who benefit from these services. The work of these organizations, such as Food Finders, does help people get back into the mainstream of life. Its so important, especially when State and Federal funding for such programs is being cut.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

When I last saw Food Finders' faciities, it appears that they could do even more if they had updated computers and other equipment.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

On-line visibility of open routes where volunteers are needed to move food.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I've learned about the people who need these services and have a more compasionate understanding. Its been very humbling.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel like I am giving something back. Its not right to sit back and ignor those who have not been so lucky in life. Giving back is a responsibility. Food Finders makes it easy, enjoyable and rewarding.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I had heard about a food drive from my postal worker. I left food for them and read about FF. they are not far from my home so I wnent into the store and learned more. I like that they pick food up from store, restaurants, bakeries, peoples homes(fruit from trees) so that all of this stays out of dumps and provides food for agencies that serve the cities poor. I have assisted in food drive, driven food to agencies when parties have had excess and seen first hand that it is not wasted. this nonprofit uses all money to serve the poor and needs this help. Although most what we get is by way of food, we also need money to pay staff to arrange of food delivery and many other processes needed to keep FF going. thank you

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working at some of the agencies serving food to people of agency. I have boxed food, delivered food, picked fruit off of tree's.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find some way to not rely on grants for all money...

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Shortly after retirement,I began to explore different avenues that could benefit by my participation. My life changed when I met Arlene Mercer, founder and director of an extraorinary organization called "Food Finders". My search for fullfillment ended as my envolvement grew in becoming a productive asset to the growth and well being to my community and city. Along with volunteering to pick up excess goods from local markets, I then delivered them direct to the approved needy agencies. This routine became as necessary to me as breathing in and breathing out. With all the heartwarming smiles, god bless you's, see you next week and always the many thank you's made me realize what a difference I was making in so many lives. The joy of giving. For the big picture, of which all the volenteers are a part, Food Finders for the year 2010 have collected seven million lbs. of food and served approximately 50,000 meals per day. Some searh for a pot of gold at the end of rainbow. I found mine in my own backyard--Me! The pot of gold is my health and ability to better serve my community and my rainbow is made up of all the people that I service and together we create a GlOW felt by all.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

satisfaction by helping to feed the needy

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

no changes recommended

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Review from Guidestar