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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

59 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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteering for about 4 1/2 yrs now. It is exciting to know that I have the privilege of helping people receive food when they would otherwise go without . I had never heard of a food rescue group, but now I am a part of it. Just think, the small bit that I add is multiplied hundreds of times over and over again. But it takes money to keep the electricity on and gas for the truck that is used to pick up items at the warehouses that are kind enough to donate to us. SO, we also donate money. Won't you give a little to make someone else's life better? You will be glad you did. PM

2 Bob_93

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for 4 years & am constantly amazed at the amount of food that is donated to WNWN - considering that much of that would be thrown away. The operation of collection, sorting, distribution is quiet the process to follow. Volunteers come together to make this the great organization it is & the services it provides.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Waste not want not rescues and provides 1.5 million pounds of nearly out of date and surplus food to qualified charities all over north east Florida all through volunteers.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for waste not want not 10 years ago. I have never found anything more positive and inspiring before. This organization uses volunteers and their time and cars to "Rescue" food from donors in the retail and wholesale food industry locally that would otherwise be discarded. The collections are returned to a central facility where over 60 non-profit orgs. pick up this food at no charge to support their missions working with the disadvantaged. the retailers get a tax deduction, the volunteers get their hearts tugged, and the pick up groups offset their program costs so they can focus upon their primary mission. absolutely amazing!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for WNWN since its inception. It is an amazing organization with amazing volunteers and leadership. The amount of food rescued each day and delivered to people in need is incredible . I am very proud to be a team member of this wonderful organization.

1 Danielle65

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am amazed at the passion and excitement of our volunteers who pick up the food from our donors and distribute it to those in need. Countless lives have been impacted and I am excited to be part of such a great organization.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the board of this organization recently because of the great work they do rescuing food that would otherwise be thrown away and distributing it to those in need. I think they have a lot of potential to grow and serve even more people in our community, so I am excited to serve on the board to help them move forward!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A truly amazing organizationorganization that rescues food and other items so that people do not go hungry or without the basic essentials for life. The volunteers are second to nonenone and incorporate a team spirit to get things done!

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.

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!