Waste Not: Rescuing Food and Providing Hope
The work day starts at 6 a.m. Arriving at the truck yard, Dave Kaiser, Waste Not’s Director of Field Operations, never quite knows what the day will bring as he prepares the Waste Not drivers for their food pickups and deliveries. Six days a week, these drivers arrive, ready to begin rescuing fresh, wholesome excess perishable food – from those who don’t need or want it – for delivery to hungry people throughout Metro Phoenix. By 2 p.m., they’ve delivered an average of over 10,000 pounds of food to Waste Not’s network of nonprofit agency partners who help feed the hungry. For 30 years, Waste Not has been working to provide hunger relief to our community while supporting other nonprofits in the Valley.
Waste Not receives calls for food pickups that typically average 9,000- 11,000 pounds of food. But on Tuesday, May 30 – the day after Memorial Day – the team was so inundated with food donations, Waste Not rescued 25,000 pounds of food in ONE day. With donations consisting of bread, pastries, dairy, eggs, fresh fruit and meat, Waste Not rescued enough food to feed over 20,000 people. This delivery went to help over 20 different local nonprofits like Church on Fillmore, TLC Roosevelt, and Mount of Olives who work to feed the people that need it the most.
Can you even visualize what 25,000 pounds of food looks like? Food waste is one of the world’s biggest problems right now and rightly so. 40% of all food produced is wasted, meaning that in the United States alone, this amounts to over 1 trillion dollars worth of food ending up in the trash. And just a quarter of the food wasted could feed the world’s hungry.
Locally, without Waste Not, the good nutritious food provided by the food donors would otherwise go into the landfills, creating harmful greenhouse gases for our environment while people in our community go hungry. We believe that food is not a privilege, it is a right, and for some, it’s the glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow. Our mission is simple – we help alleviate local hunger by rescuing excess perishable food and efficiently delivering it the same day to partner organizations that provide hope and sustenance to low-income and indigent men, women and children. Excess food + hungry people – food waste = Waste Not.