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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

AmpleHarvest.org, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Food, Food Banks & Pantries

Mission: AmpleHarvest.org eliminates food waste, hunger and malnutrition in America by educating, encouraging and empowering growers to share their excess harvest with thousands of local food pantries instead of letting it rot in the garden.

Results: Founded by CNN Hero Gary Oppenheimer in mid 2009, AmpleHarvest.org has already registered more than 8,000 (1 out of every 5) food pantries in America. Has identified the magnitude of the garden food waste problem by way of a two year study (www.AmpleHarvest.org/Study) Is creating $200M impact annually (food plus health benefits) Has created Food Waste Weekend to enable clergy of all faiths to help their congregations learn about ending food waste. AmpleHarvest.org has received backing and support from the White House, Google, the USDA, numerous faith organizations and the Feeding America network of food banks.

Target demographics: end food waste in home/community gardens, reduce hunger, and reduce the environmental impact of the waste of food

Direct beneficiaries per year: millions of gardeners help more than 8,000 food pantries (food banks, food shelves, and food closets) nationwide

Geographic areas served: all 50 states

Programs: AmpleHarvest.org which is educating, encouraging and enabling millions of gardeners to end the waste of 11 billion pounds of food by finding a local food pantry eager for their excess garden produce.

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

AmpleHarvest.org is helping to fill a gap with many food pantries. Fresh produce is typically hard to find at food pantries, relying on more shelf stable products. Now AmpleHarvest.org is helping connect local sources of produce, mainly local gardeners with their local food pantries. Visit our website to connect with AmpleHarvest.org.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The USA produces enough food to feed all its people yet many Americans are chronically hungry.
Making it easy for millions of gardeners to effectively channel their excess produce to food pantries is an elegant, low cost solution to the problem of getting nutritious fresh food into the hands of those most in need.
Great work Ampleharvest.org!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Helping make durable connections between those with excess food and those in need of it; with little infrastructure cost

Board Member

Rating: 5

AmpleHarvest.org operates a tech platform to eliminate food waste by linking food pantries and gardeners with excess produce. It's a highly efficient way to match hungry people with nutritious food and an important tool in battling food insecurity in the US.

Board Member

Rating: 5

AmpleHarvest has done a great job of making it easy to find where to donate my excess garden produce. I wish they could tell more people what they do.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The staff is excellent--very caring and helpful. They are doing important work and seem to genuinely believe in the mission at a very personal level.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ending food waste, hunger & helping enviro nationwide. Most effective program of its kind. Brilliant!

1 Janice49

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Innovative approach to reducing food waste. Making a significant impact to provide fresh food to reduce poverty and alleviate starvation.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The amazing work this organization does is changing our food system.

Most other charities spend their time and energy (and money) trying to respond to problems - over and over which is all well and good, but AmpleHarvest.org actually works to fix the system that is creating the problems in the first place.

Instead of buying food and feeding people, AmpleHarvest.org works to help America use the fresh food it already has first. Why didn't anyone think of that before?

My donation is spent on fixing a broken system and not just patching it. I'm paying for technology and talent to fix the system but not for food! Wow!

Been donating every year since AmpleHarvest.org started - thrilled to see its growth, impact and energy. It's been money very well spent.

1 Mary393

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After retirement I was in search of a new way to give back to the world. When I heard the AmpleHarvest.org story and mission, I knew this was the non-profit I wanted add to my list of charities to support. I think everyone in America is aware of how much fresh food we waste amidst the problem of people of millions being food insecure. AmpleHarvest.org is working hard to change that scenario. Please check out their website and read more about the ingenious way AmpleHarvest.org connects gardeners to local food pantries to end hunger and malnutrition. They have my solid vote for No Food Left Behind.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I find AmpleHarvest.org to be a wonderful, free resource for both gardeners and food pantries! It affords gardeners an opportunity to donate their extra vegetables that would have otherwise been wasted and it helps pantries get much need fresh produce to their clients. It's a win-win for everyone!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization that helps fill food pantry shelves with fresh produce.

2

Donor

Rating: 4

I've watched AmpleHarvest.org from its inception, growing to over 7000 food pantries registered to receive fresh produce. It's such an efficient way to both eliminate the waste of food and to help feed those who need it.

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

At the most basic level, it's a practical solution to multiple issues - hunger, food insecurity, overall health, and elimination of waste. It's amazing that such a 'simple' idea can cover so much ground!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

AmpleHarvest.org tackles big issues like food waste, hunger, and malnutrition in a most innovative way. I believe it's the most important tool for any gardener!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I set out to push a STEM agenda in volunteering, I quickly found that the undercurrent that was pulling the whole effort down was stress students feel in homes that are challenged by food. If you aren't eating well, you aren't paying attention at school -- no amount of pushing is going to help.

AmpleHarvest appealed to me as the right approach to take by leveling technology to create a 10x multiple -- each dollar in results in FAR FAR FAR more food being distributed to people in need. This was far better than any other food program I investigated.

The team is driven, hardworking, and extremely cost sensitive. It amazes me to see how far our executive director takes each dollar. This makes being both a donor and a board member the right way to spend my time. If we make AmpleHarvest successful, we don't just solve a food crisis, we solve an education crisis. Awesome.

1 Ingeborg O.

Donor

Rating: 5

the ampleharvest.org non-profit is truly a non-profit in every sense; it provides for gardeners who sign up one of those rarities in today's world - a way of "giving" to others without opening their wallets or check books! as such, ample harvest also offers an opportunity for folks wanting to promote this effort to make birthday, anniversary, and other gifts by way of a donation, taking the guess work out of what to give to whom. it's a win-win situation all around!

1 Ron_43

Board Member

Rating: 5

AmpleHarvest.org is a great organization that very efficiently supports over 7400 pantries nationwide by helping them get healthy and fresh produce to those who desperately need it.
What I like about the organization is that they use internet technology as well as social media to really leverage their reach and effectiveness. This organization provides more value in this area than the mega non profits in the hunger space on a minimal budget that would be comparable to a local single city non profit (probably less than most of those). Their founder is very conscientious about costs and is very diligent about making sure organizational overhead does not get in the way of effectively doing it's job. My only disappointment about Ample Harvest is that it has far less funding than it should. This is definitely an organization worth getting behind.

1 Etta E.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

With so many people in need in America, it hurts to know that so much good food is being thrown out. Now gardeners everywhere are empowered to do something better with their excess produce. The website makes it easy to find a place to donate your food. In fact, the find-a-pantry page is not just used by gardeners, but a variety of individuals and groups - from people in need of food assistance, to corporations that have food to donate, and even other nonprofits concerned with hunger. Thank you, AmpleHarvest.org!

3

Advisor

Rating: 5

Its amazing when someone finds a solution that seems so simple yet no one has put it into place. AmpleHarvest.org is like that. Simple: a gardener has too many cucumbers (tomatoes, etc.), goes to AmpleHarvest.org on the Web, finds their local pantry, and takes their excess produce to the pantry. Voila! Fresh food for those in need; the gardener feels great about making a difference. No waste. No trucks. Amazing. AmpleHarvest.org founder, staff, and board are tireless workers. This is a charity worth supporting and worth watching.

3 Joe_19

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became acquainted with AmpleHarvest.org after we filmed an episode featuring the work they do. I'm the Exec. Producer and host of Growing a Greener World. We were impressed! Founder Gary Oppenheimer is passionate about making this organization accessible to growers and those in need of fresh produce. After experiencing his boundless enthusiasm and his genuine desire to help end hunger, I wanted to help beyond just airing the episode to a national audience. Little did I know that would include an invitation by Gary to serve on the Board. I've received several invitations to serve on other boards, but this is the first one I've ever accepted. I've now served for about a year. In that time, I've been impressed by every aspect of their mission and efforts to help spread awareness for what they do, along with how to reach an even greater audience. Currently, they're still a lean organization with great capacity if given the opportunity for the financial resources they need to really break through. At current financial levels, they're barely scratching the surface on the potential. They could do so much more with additional and funding.