Remember when you were a kid refusing to eat your broccoli and your mother pleaded with you to “think of all the starving children?” That is exactly what one woman did when she saw food going to waste at a local resort. She wanted to save some people from going hungry so she borrowed a pick-up truck and personally delivered the salvaged food to homeless shelters. That selfless act marked the humble beginnings of Waste Not in 1987.
Now in their 26th year, Waste Not employs a fleet of refrigerated trucks that deliver 6-7,000 pounds of food daily, serving approximately 100 nonprofit organizations, such as Homeward Bound and the Sojourner Center. Waste Not’s food donations help charities like these spend more of their funding on direct program services.
Feeding the hungry in Arizona is an even more pressing need due to the recent cuts to the food stamps program. “Everyone has felt the tremendous impact, unfortunately,” says Waste Not Executive Director Dee Mitten. You can help them continue their mission to make sure no perishable food goes to waste.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Waste Not’s professional drivers deliver the rescued perishable food the same day. They do not have a food storage or brick-and-mortar operation. However, there are several ways you can get involved in the effort to fight hunger in Arizona:
• Make a cash donation. Every $1 provides enough food to feed 6 hungry children.
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• Vote for Waste Not on Facebook to receive the top beneficiary prize in the “Green Out for Charity” event at the 2014 Phoenix Open. You can vote HERE and HERE once daily from now until mid-January 2014.
• If you see good food going to waste, contact Waste Not at 602-721-3454 so they can help.
• If you are hosting a catered event and will have leftover food that would feed 20-25 people, contact Waste Not at 602-721-3454. They can help coordinate with your caterer to pick-up the food.
• Participate in the Empty Bowls fundraiser. Each year in mid-October this charity event is presented by Arizona Clay Association with proceeds benefiting Waste Not. For a minimum $12 donation patrons chose their own unique bowl from thousands of handcrafted ceramic bowls. The beautiful keepsake serves as a reminder that someone’s bowl is always empty.
• Complete a volunteer questionnaire so Waste Not can match you with an opportunity.