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Waste Not Want Not Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Food, Food Programs

Mission: Food belongs in bellies - not landfills: Waste Not Want Not exists to prevent the discarding of items that can be used to fight hunger and poverty in our community. Our volunteers rescue food daily from stores, restaurants, vendors, farmers’ fields and neighbors’ gardens. We distribute this perishable food promptly to people fighting hunger in Clay and surrounding counties. These men, women, and children, our neighbors, enjoyed two million pounds of wholesome food last year - food that, but for our volunteers’ efforts would have gone to waste. What happens to the heart-shaped cakes on February 15, the unbroken eggs in a carton with two that are cracked, the unsold food at your favorite restaurant at closing time, or the unpicked oranges on neighbor’s trees? All these are wasted; thrown away. In a country where one resident in six is food-insecure, one-quarter of all food produced is discarded before it reaches a consumer. But not here in North Florida where Waste Not intercepts food that may be unmarketable or "imperfect" but is perfectly wholesome and safe to consume. Not here in North Florida where Waste Not fights hunger by distributing that rescued food to 2,000 people struggling to put food on the table every day. No one should go hungry while good food goes to waste: Learn more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUMgyebt3H4

Results: Fighting hunger by rescuing food creates unique challenges and opportunities. Our challenge is responding to an unpredictable supply of semi-perishable food: we never know exactly what we will receive, and unlike shelf-stable food at food pantries, rescued food is perishable and must be distributed promptly. Because rescues vary from baked goods, produce, dairy, to prepared foods, drinks, and meat, we have a unique opportunity to help all kinds by sorting the food based on their needs. Children taking weekend backpacks home find them filled with small, easy-to-prepare items; struggling families receive groceries; students at afterschool programs receive pizza and drinks; diners in soup kitchens, group homes, or churches with full kitchens enjoy prepared foods such as soup, vegetables, lasagna, and chicken; and homeless served in the woods find individually packaged sandwiches, drinks, desserts, and fruit in their bags. By matching food to our recipients’ needs, Waste Not volunteers ensure that whatever we rescue is put to good use. Every week last year, at least 14,000 people ate food rescued by Waste Not Want Not volunteers. Waste Not Want Not rescues food, helps people, and increases financial donors’ impact. Every dollar donated to Waste Not, magnified by the efforts of our volunteers, provides 14 pounds of food to people in 10 counties struggling to put food on the table. Receiving food from Waste Not for free allows our recipient groups to do more; to feed more people or to spend more of their limited funds on non-food services. Every financial gift to Waste Not results in benefits to our community that are much greater in value than the value of the donation.

Target demographics: those suffering from hunger

Direct beneficiaries per year: 14,000 people each week

Geographic areas served: North Florida

Programs: Food Rescue and Distribution. In 2016, we distributed two million pounds of food to local charities serving those in need. This food, which would otherwise have been discarded, instead was provided to men, women and children, seniors and homeless people.

Community Stories

51 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

St Francis Soup Kitchen feeds over 600 people on average per week. Our servings include full plate dinners and soup and sandwiches which we alternate. For many years back into the 1990's the Soup Kitchen has benefitted from its association with Waste Not Want Not.Each week we receive dozens of loaves of bread, baked goods, occasionally drinks, frozen soups and fried chicken. We use all that we receive. The fact is that the Soup kitchen could not serve the community's neediest and destitute with out Waste Not Want Not's support and contribution. We are dependent on them and they are completely dependable. As a Plus, the people we deal with are very nice, professional and responsible; the best!

2 Janice41

Donor

Rating: 5

Well, they did it again! Rescued nearly 2 million pounds of food and saved charities close to $4 million that they would have spent on food. In fact Waste Not Want Not has been doing this for the past 25 years! What I love about volunteering with Waste Not there are so many opportunities and ways to help. Waste Not has 2 paid employees, an Executive Director and Volunteer Coordinator. Two employees cannot begin to get everything done needed to run a business. This is why their volunteer base is so important, there are so many opportunities to help from admin, marketing, putting stickers on food. When I give money to Waste Not I know the funds are being used wisely. For every $1 spent Waste Not provided $27 worth of food to hungry people in 10 counties of north Florida. By being involved with Waste Not I know that I have made a difference in the lives of those who need help.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm truly amazed at how Waste Not Want Not can turn around 1.9 million pounds of food; for pennies on the dollar feed families, seniors and kids while saving other non-profits millions from their budgets.

I'm very glad to be associated with this organization!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks To the volunteers who pick up a perfectly good food from merchants to distribute to the needy. ❤️ thanks to Publix, Panera bread, and other merchants for their donations to your organization. I, for one, enjoy the bread that is delivered to the local senior center, as do many other elderly participants

1 Nikki36

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great organization with great volunteers and employees.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

waste not always supports the local groups along with programs just not in Orange Park but out reachs to outer city groups thats a big Hats Off because thier cause of food rescue is feeding thousands of people each week great job and I am proud to know that this group is part of our community Denise Bramlitt Putman County's bleeding in the back pack program

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering and donating to charity are both important parts of my life as a community member and I want every hour and dollar donated to count. With Waste Not Want Not, the return on my investment is incredible. I'm forever impressed by how much food we keep from the landfills and get into the mouths of people who would otherwise be hungry (needlessly). Beyond the great accomplishments WNWN achieves in rescuing food, I'm also impressed by how easy it is for kids to get involved; they contribute labor, but also learn valuable lessons about people outside their daily lives and the benefits of volunteering.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The amount of food and other supplies that would otherwise go to the landfill without this organization is staggering (millions of pounds a year), especially given how many people in the community are in need of assistance. Every day of the week, rain or shine, WNWN volunteers collect from various distributors, grocery chains and restaurants. The pickups are returned to the main facility, sorted by type, etc and then re-distributed to that day's recipient organizations (from throughout North Florida). I am proud to be a volunteer for WNWN and I have never volunteered for a more economically efficient charity.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The looks of gratitude and heartfelt "thank yous" uttered by the recipients to the volunteers at Waste Not Want Not are why I have been with it for several decades. By rescuing and redistributing so many tons of food and other products to so many organizations, we volunteers are truly able to "do unto others...", and it makes me and all the people I work with happy to be part of such a team.
It's so well organized that the time spent there gives truly efficient results. We accomplish our assigned tasks and leave there knowing we have the gratitude of hundreds of people who we have helped that day.

Comments ( 1 )

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wastenot 10/31/2014

Mary, I believe you are our second longest-term volunteer. Maybe you can help write a brief history of Waste Not Want Not for our 25th Anniversary coming up in 2015... Thank you for volunteering, jumping in wherever and whenever needed, and always smiling.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The results of the redistribution efforts by Waste Not Want Not are absolutely amazing. Two million pounds of good food that would have ended up in our over-used disposal facilities have been provided to non-profit agencies that feed the poor and needy. Most of Waste Not Want Not's effort is sustained by volunteers as directed by Sandra, an outstanding Executive Director.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

WNWN is one of the most remarkable volunteer non-profits ever! The amount of food they gather from over 100 sites and redistribute to over 100 food serving non-profits all in the same day has to be witnessed to be believed! The 1,000,000+ tons of food saved/given out per year is only made possible by the selfless dedication of a small staff of 2 and a volunteer "army" of over 100! What a group!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for several nonprofit organizations and Waste Not Want Not always get priority on my time and monthly financial donations. I have been volunteering in many areas of Waste Not Want Not for over ten years. In that time I have met many great people that have the same passion, "to help those in need." Russ Kamradt

Sarah214

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a volunteer-forward organization. It is fueled primarily by its top-notch volunteers. Waste Not Want Not is efficient and runs on a surprisingly lean budget. Its efforts fill two existing needs: to eliminate food waste and to redistribute that food to the hungry. I'm proud to be associated with this remarkable organization.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

From the moment I had contact with this organization, I was impressed beyond words. What they do, what they are able to accomplish and how many lives they affect on a daily basis is nothing short of phenomenal. If there was such a group in every county of every state, imagine the food that could be rescued and the impact on hunger it would have.
Thank you Waste Not Want Not for the diligence you show every day and the compassion and care you exemplify in feeding the hungry. You are a role model for all of us and an example of how we can all do more and do better.
Keep up the great work.
Malea Guiriba, Director
Pie in the Sky

Comments ( 1 )

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wastenot 10/31/2014

Thank you, Malea! It is a pleasure working with you and others from Pie in the Sky. I also admire your work creating Farm to Family which brings farm fresh produce to food desserts in St. Johns County. When will you be replicating that in Clay and Duval?

Anna55

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with WNWN for 3 year now. I love what we about helping people in need.
To see the smiles on our Clients we severed is priceless.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization goes to different restaurants and stores and collects food that is still edible but not suitable for selling (expiration date coming up soon). Waste not Want Not delivers the food to agencies that can distribute it to clients in need. Some examples would be group homes, senior citizens day care/place to hang out during the day, and schools. I know about schools because for years my son who attends a special needs school would bring home bread. Sometimes the bread was plain, sometimes it was very fancy, but always it was gratefully received. The families of special needs people often face expenses other families don't have so to have one less thing to buy at the store was a true gift. In fact, because of their generosity, I tried to send them financial donations as I was able, largely due to the savings on bread. I also am a recycling person, so I was so proud to see how they keep this food out of the landfills. They are a tremendous asset to our community.

Kim_97

Donor

Rating: 5

Waste Not Want Not, just like your Grandmother used to say! WNWN provides a wonderful service by picking up local businesses food/drinks that are considered not sellable. The fact if the matter is, we as a society are spoiled rotten and ungrateful. What we toss out as "waste" would be considered a feast by a whole lot if lesser privileged people. We don't buy fruit/vegetables if they are not up to our visual standards. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the food itself, we are just THAT ridiculous. WNWN takes that food and gives it to the needy. They depend wholly on volunteers and donors. I am so proud to be affiliated with this much needed service. WNWN should branch out to all corners of the earth!

Pam_49

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered through my church, and I was always impressed at how dedicated they are to saving useable food and feeding our area's hungry. Great leadership and great community outreach!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began working for Waste Not Want Not several yeas ago, after quitting a paid job I was dissatisfied with. Looking for a volunteer job a friend suggested I try WNWN. My first day on the job, picking up food from one of our local grocery stores to working sorting and distributing much needed food I knew this was the job for me. I soon was put in charge of Wed. & Friday distribution for approximately six to ten groups/day. We have approximately 65 groups which we serve on a weekly basis. The people I work with along with people we serve are the best. We are not just volunteers we are family. Recently my mother came to visit and I needed a wheelchair and walker and everyone I asked came through for me. Thank You!!!. Our organization has become the pilot program for others in the counties of food recovery. Like it was said today in 90 degree weather you couldn't pay me to do this job but I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be because without us many people would go hungry.

Client Served

Rating: 5

At James Weldon Johnson Academic and Career Training Center, our students are 1-3 years overage for grade level. Additionally, our community does not have a great number of food outlets, such as comprehensive grocery stores, and many of our students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch status. As a result, there is a tremendous need among our students for good, consistent nutritional snacks and food products. Waste Not Want Not has been a highly caring, supportive, and helpful partner for our school since January of 2012. Since that time, Waste Not Want Not has provided snacks and foods for our after-school program and, during the summer of 2013, provided tremendous snacks and food products for our Summer Camp. Waste Not Want Not has made a tremendous difference in the lives of our students through their support. I remember during our Summer Camp, students would invariably ask at the beginning of the day: "What's for snack this afternoon?" They would often ask this before they would ask about field trips, or what the activities for that day were. This is an indication of just how much the nutritional support, provided to them by Waste Not Want Not, meant to them. I only know this; Waste Not Want Not, through their efficiency of non-profit operations, combined with a loving and caring outlook and decication towards those in our world who are in need, has made an indelible difference in the lives of the children that we serve, and they are an indispensable part of our efforts to make a difference in the lives of our students.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The team at Waste Not Want Not are just fabulous! They help our ministry by supplying much needed food for the meals we prepare for the senior citizens we serve. We take seniors on day-long mission trips and serve a hot meal for the entire team. 18 - 48 seniors are fed a great meal from the recaptured food that WNWN gives us.

WNWN saves Seniors on a Mission thousands of dollars each year. Thank you!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

This is by far the most efficient food recovery organization, that i have ever had the pleasure being involved with. Organizational skills of staff and volunteers is exceptional. Keep giving it all you got and thanks for being part of the community.