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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The efficiency and generosity of this group are phenomenal! Like a well-oiled machine, on each day they gather food throughout the area and redistribute it to nonprofits assisting impoverished people. Throughout the year they have given us truckloads of food-juice, applesauce, snacks, pastries-allowing us to nearly double the amount of weekend food we provide for children. And to think that without this group, all that food would go to waste...!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Waste Not Want Not is a Volunteer-Based Group that exists to prevent the discarding of items that can be used to fight hunger and poverty in N. E. Florida. We receive and distribute 362 days a year.Contributions are pick up by volunteers (in their own vehicles) from supermarkets and restaurants and warehouses for large grocery chains. WNWN has picked up and distributed over 1.5 million pounds of food this past year and will grow by over 15 % this year.
I am a lucky person to be working for this fine organization and I salute our dedicated volunteers!!

Donor

Rating: 5

Waste Not Want Not is one of the best run non-profits in our area. On behalf of MPWC Charities, I commend this organization for what they do for the community. MPWC has made monetary donations to this charity for several years and have researched them thoroughly. They are an efficient, effective non-profit. Because we have similar missions, we feel we are able work together to achieve the greatest good.

Joan16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started as a volunteer, just based on the wonderful name of this non-profit. It so inspired me, and the other folks I worked along side, everyone so dedicated to helping others, it was impossible not to get enthusiastic! When I was asked to join the board, I was flattered. I am so fortunate to have spent a few years with this group, planning ways to increase both our donors and our recipients, motivating our volunteer-only staff, and planning for growth of the organization. Saving and redistributing over a million pounds of food each year made me even prouder of our concentrated efforts. Being part of the expansion into larger space was an example of the good work they do. We distributed food as usual on Friday and Monday morning we were completely moved into new space and filling the recipients cars and trucks with healthy food. The only reason I no longer work with the wonderful folks is that I moved 1500 miles away!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I volunteer with Kairos Prison Ministry, Inc. We conduct 3 day Christain based retreats in 5 state prisons in the NE Florida area. Waste Not Want Not (WNWN) helps us with cookies that we distribute to the inmates during the weekend as snacks and dessert for meals that we eat together. The volunteers at WNWN are really great, easy to work with and always helpful. Many organizations are much larger than the Kairos ministry but WNWN always finds time to help us in our need. I thank God for the retail stores in our area that are willing to allow WNWN to redistribute this food to so many needy organizations. I also thank God for the many volunteers that make WNWN work so well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of volunteering at Waste Not Want Not for the last 4 years. I was in search of a local charity where I could make a difference. I found that at Waste Not!
The dedication and generosity of spirit of the volunteers is contagious! To be a part of an organization focused on rescuing food so that others might benefit is humbling and gratifying.
Food is not wasted and people, who would otherwise go without, are fed!
It is a win - win situation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Waste Note Want Not's supprt has allowed our church to begin our Missions Kitchen outreach. We are serving hot dinners to those in our community once a month and the numbers of attendees continue to increase. The first night, four people attended. Over the past five months, that number has increased to 40. We feel very blessed to have the opportunity to serve these meals to those who really need them and without Waste Not Want's provision of food, we would not have ben able to continue this mission.