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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

29 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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Waste Not now for about 10 years. I have held several positions within the organization and have had a wonderful and fullfillng experience doing so. Let me tell you about a recent humbling experience. I was working in the Waste Not booth at the Orange Park, FL annual Fall Festival a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful Fall day and I was having a great time talking to people about Waste Not as they came by the booth. A young lady, in her 20's with a toddler in tow, stopped. She told me that she recognized the name, Waste Not, because she was receiving assistance from one of our recipient groups and knew that much of the food she was getting came from Waste Not. She just wanted to say "thank you". She made my day!

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Waste Not Want Not is made up of an incredible group of volunteers, donating their time and treasure to help Waste Not Want Not and the groups they support, eliminate waste and at the same time, help reduce hunger and poverty in Northeast Florida.
My journey with Waste Not began in 2007 when Waste Not was looking for a Realtor to help find them a new home. In 2008 they moved in to a new location with room to grow, and grow they have. I soon began to volunteer to pick up food from a local store of a large grocery chain. I remember the feeling I had that first time, driving back to Waste Not, my SUV smelling like a bakery, knowing that I was helping them keep food out of the land fill and getting it into the hands of local groups that would be feeding the hungry that same evening. In 2016, these groups will save over $3 million by not have to go out and purchase the food that is provided to them by Waste Not. $3 million that they can use for other needs of their mission.
I am very proud to be associated with Waste Not Want Not and to be a part of what they have accomplished in the past 27 years.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Until I started picking up bread/food from Waste Not Want Not for our food pantry I had no idea of the scope of this non profit's work. They provide food for nonprofit agencies in TEN counties. TEN. They are AMAZING. Food is collected (by volunteers) from restaurants and grocery stores. That food is sorted and distributed (by volunteers) and turned around as fast as they can which is usually the same day to non profits like our food pantry. I hesitate to call it a well oiled machine because every volunteer I come in contact with has a servants heart and is full of cheer.. even in the sweltering heat. Their mission to fill bellies and make sure good food doesn't go to waste is personal to them. AMAZING indeed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The sheer volume of rescued food volunteers move through Waste Not Want Not on a daily basis is absolutely incredible. I have been privileged to be a part of the dedicated pool of caring souls who help operate this worthwhile enterprise for several years. The commitment of these individuals is awe inspiring. A group I volunteer with who serve the poor directly has also been the recipient of some of the rescued food from Waste Not Want Not for our small emergency food pantry. I can tell you hungry people have had something to eat because of Waste Not Want Not everyday.

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our church food pantry depends on Waste Not Want Not weekly and they come through each week! We could not provide the same support to the poor in our area without them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My respect for this charity continues to increase over the years. As more food sources (grocery stores and restaurants) recognize how dependable this group is, day in day out, almost every day of the year, the amount of food rescued and redistributed to those in need grows. I am forever amazed at how much food we save from the landfill and how many people benefit from it. As someone who worked for large corporations that bullied me into donating to nonprofits with massive payrolls, I vastly prefer to donate my time and money to a charity where every dollar really does get used toward a better community.

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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.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at Waste Not Want Not, which is wonderful nonprofit rescuing food and distributing it to the needy of northeast Florida. Our dedicated volunteers make daily pickups at grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries, beverage distributors, and other sources. The rescued food is then sorted and consolidated into allotments specific to the needs of our nonprofit recipient groups.

Waste Not is a great way to serve two causes, the environment and the less fortunate. Waste Not expects to distribute over two million pounds of food this year to those in need. Please consider donating your time or money to Waste Not Want Not. Each $10 raised generates 140 pounds of food for those in need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an outstanding nonprofit in every way. By rescuing food that would otherwise be discarded, its 270 volunteers were able to provide 1.9 million pounds of food to those in need last year. I volunteer for the organization and get a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that my efforts have an immediate and significant impact on nearby communities. After working with this nonprofit and seeing the dedication of its volunteers, executive director, volunteer coordinator and board, I became a donor. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm contributing to an organization that's really making a difference!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son began volunteering over a year ago to get community service hours for Bright Futures Scholarship efforts. He continued beyond his 100 hours minimum requirement.

As I learned more from the Exec. Director and the then Volunteer Coordinator (the only two paid personnel) about operations and while helping with last years hosting of the annual Community Yard Sale, I wanted to help more. I was recruited to Chair the 2016 Community Yard Sale (WNWN's biggest fundraising event) and am amazed at how many ways there are to help this great entity help folks in 10 counties in northeast Florida.

100% donated funding and volunteer work force is what keeps it working. 363 days a year they are picking up, lableing, sorting, boxing, moving, stacking, sweating, phoning, planning, selling, speaking, donating, visiting and all because they know it is worth it. "Rescuing" food from being wasted by distribution centers, stores, restaurants, farms, gardens and area events to help feed those in our local communities in need and who are struggling. I am so proud to be part of this great group of people helping people!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every week my husband and I pick up five to nine overflowing shopping carts of food that will expire shortly if not used. This food is donated by the large grocery stores in the area. It's taken to a holding area to be distributed to the needy. We feel like we are doing a valuable service by getting this food to people that need it rather than filling a dumpster. When we think of the many other volunteers that are picking up food from the other grocery stores at the same time, it is mind boggling. We're happy to be be serving our community in this small way.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having worked with Sandra and some of the wonderful volunteers involved with Waste Not Want Not, I can truly say that Sandra runs a fantastic organization that benefits so many of our neighbors. With 100% of the funding coming from donations, there is a huge amount of faith and sweat equity in this organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Waste Not is a truly valuable entity that I'm grateful to be a part of. With all of the negative news about the darkness within humanity day after day, it is incredibly refreshing to volunteer some time with Waste Not and see nothing but the goodness of humanity to boost the spirit. People volunteering their time, day after day, in tight conditions, even without the full motivation of seeing the incredible end result of their hard work, because they know how important their work is to so many people.

Hunger reflects something that is wrong with our country, as their is plenty of food for everyone. Waste Not reflects what is right...the desire and dedication of so many to help people with such an important necessity of life. Waste Not's operational model is intelligent, bringing donors and receivers together to benefit so many year-round (not just Thanksgiving and Christmas) and to reduce food waste. With very few paid salaries to operate it, a dedicated board, and many partners in the community, Waste Not is what I view a "great nonprofit" being.

I'm a volunteer, who otherwise works elsewhere full-time for a 6-figure salary. I truly get more satisfaction and motivation offering my time for free at Waste Not, then in my salaried job. I'm grateful to be part of a non-profit that uses its donations to actually help people in need...day after day.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We can only agree wholeheartedly with all the positive comments about this wide-reaching organization. We have been aware of Waste Not Want Not's huge positive impact on our communities for over 15 years. We first became aware of this local non-profit and their imposing volunteer force when our church's outreach program needed food to feed the homeless in our county. Waste Not Want Not was the first to offer food on an ongoing basis. Years later we began volunteering for them and learned how they rescue food from a wide variety of donors. We saw our neighbors and friends benefiting from the combined efforts of our fellow volunteers. We saw charity after charity identify their needs in order to help their own communities and we realized we were part of an organization providing foods for hundreds! Over the years we watched with pride, as Waste Not Want Not rescued more and more food items, preventing waste, protecting our environment, and most important , providing food to those most hungry. They provide for hungry children, families and seniors across ten counties in North Florida. Their volunteers are by far some of the most dedicated people we know. The countless benefits of being part of such a group are multiplied tenfold when you realize you are a small part of an organization that affects 10's of thousands of lives each week and makes them better! Now that is GREAT!

Clair N.

Volunteer

Rating: 1

This "charity" has NO compassion for anyone! I was doing community service there and all of them said how much of a hard, good worker I was!! Then my husband had throat cancer and had to have throat surgery! He has to do proton radiation everyday and chemotherapy 1 time a week! Then I had to go back and forth to the hospital for my medical issues! They said it's ok that they would work with me! Ha! That was a lie! Now they won't let me go back and finish my community service because I had to take care of my family and they said it was ok to do that and when everything was a little better I could come back and finish my hours!! Well now I can't! Becky told me that I can not come back just because I was taking care of my family and I took their word for it that I can come back! They are liars and does not care about anyone!! They are a bad "charity!!"

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with WNWN for 2 years now and plan to continue. The fact that there are only two employees but hundreds of volunteers tells me the organization is frugal and dedicated to their mission. I volunteer on the 'collection' side of things rather than the distribution side so I don't deal with the recipients on a regular basis. However, it is worth noting that the donors often express their thanks for our taking the time to collect food to provide for the less fortunate.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for Waste Not Want Not is a very rewarding experience. It is wonderful to know that my efforts and that of the other volunteers is providing so much help to the community. I interact with a couple different large providers of the food stuffs. They thank us for taking our time and energy to assist them in donating to a great, nonprofit, volunteer based organization.

George Borawski

Comments ( 1 )

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wastenot 10/31/2014

Thank you, George, for all your help and your willingness to drive our truck even for last minute opportunities. Without volunteers like you, Waste Not Want Not would not exist.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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