By Crystal Harrison and Conner Sweeney
Hundreds of pounds of food are put to waste every day in North East Florida. The food is not expired, or recalled, but rather food that stores and restaurants can no longer sell. Food that organizations have left over from events. Food that is no longer wanted by those who have it.
There are many groups and organizations that work to provide food to those in need, but many do not think of where this food is coming from.
Waste Not Want Not is a nonprofit organization serving several counties in Northeast Florida. They work to gather the food from the places that would otherwise throw it out and in turn send it to an organization who can use it to serve the needs of the community. Unlike a food pantry, Waste Not Want not serves organizations rather than directly serving the people.
They Currently serve organizations in 10 local counties including : Clay, Duval, Putnam, St. Johns, Baker, Bradford, Marion, Alachua, Levi and Union Counties.
Organizations served includes: City Rescue Mission, St. Francis Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs, BASCA, Henderson Haven, and Local Elementary school Backpack programs, and many others.
Waste Not Want Not is volunteer based, they work to pick up food donations as well as transfer the donations to the other organizations. Every week over 140 food rescues happen. As a nonprofit they are always looking for volunteers as well as brown paper bags. Providing ways for every member of the community to play a part in the mission of not letting food go to waste.
Many organizations are hesitant about donating food due to liability issues. However due to laws in place Organizations who donate food are protected. The Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Protection Act of 1996 ensures that anyone who donates food in good faith is protected and cannot be held liable if someone were to become ill as a result of the food.
“Knock on wood we’ve been around for 29 years and never had an issue, and I have recently heard that no where in the country has any food rescue organization has ever been sued. So that is not a valid concern. So we encourage people to donate,” said Executive Director of Waste Not Want Not Sandra Staudt-Kilea
Members of the community are encouraged to donate food, that would otherwise be put to waste and end up sitting in a landfill, turning into Methane Gas. If the food is still good help provide it to those in need.
For more information on visit Waste Not Want Not.