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2018 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 and World Food Prize nominee Gary Oppenheimer in mid 2009, AmpleHarvest.org has already registered more than 8,400 (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 8,400 food pantries (food banks, food shelves, and food closets) nationwide

Geographic areas served: all 50 states

Programs: AmpleHarvest.org (www.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. Food Waste Weekend (www.FoodWasteWeeend.org) educating and enabling clergy of all faiths to learn about food waste and then do sermons about it Centerpieces for Pantries (www.AmpleHarvest.org/holiday) to educate and encourage people to use food centerpieces on their holiday dinner table... to then be donated to a local food pantry the next day Keynote Speakers (www.AmpleHarvest.org/speaker) to educate and inspire people about their own opportunity to reduce food waste and hunger by looking at how one unique program did it. Also includes a free college colloquium

Community Stories

59 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The team is tireless and deeply innovative! They find ways to leverage existing systems and operate within an efficient model to provide immediate, sustainable solutions to the issue of food insecurity. And they have a specific focus on scalability.

Board Member

Rating: 5

They are successfully creating a resource for people to find food pantries that accept fresh produce to help reduce food waste and hunger.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I do not personally have a garden, but I know about this organization since its inception. I think ampleharvest.org is a wonderful nonprofit where gardeners donate food from their gardens that they cannot use personally to food pantries that need fresh fruits and vegetables. I know it helps a great number of people.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ampleharvest.org has a great mission. They help promote food banks and connect people to them. They help to prevent waste and provide more nutritious food to the people that need it most.

Jennifer W.3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was thankful to find ampleharvest.org. It was easy to locate a place I could bring my extra garden harvests too from their website. The cause is great and really simple but incredibly needed. I’m a small backyard gardener so no large batches.
Unfortunately i could only find a food bank which would reply from the list. They were always grateful and assured me they did have small orgs who would come and use the herbs and veggies. In a larger community I think I would be able to find small dinnertime pantries where small batches might be very useful. Maybe there should be some review or checkin on the pantries signing up. 3 in my 15 mile radius didn’t return calls or emails when I reached out to ask when I could bring in harvests.

I will continue to be part of the effort through ampleharvest.org no matter where I live! It’s easy and a great cause to volunteer with!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They do wonderful work! Helping to get fresh produce into food pantries is a win win for everyone.

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.

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.

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 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.