One-quarter of America’s food is thrown away unsold every year. Each year, $31 billion worth of food is moved from store shelves directly into dumpsters. At the same time, over 38 million Americans suffer from hunger or live on the edge of hunger, and according to Feeding America’s local Hunger in America 2010 report (prepared for the Food Bank of Northeast Florida based on a 2008 survey of its recipient agencies), 61% of the pantries, 66% of the kitchens, and 33% of the shelters surveyed turned away clients at least once during the year due to lack of food resources.
This disconnect between abundance and need occurs despite the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996 and the Florida Statutes that specifically provide immunity from civil and criminal liability to food donors and to volunteers and charitable organizations acting in good faith to donate, recover and distribute excess food.
Waste Not Want Not is just such an organization, a volunteer-based group whose mission is to prevent the discarding of food and other items that can be used to fight hunger and poverty. We do this by rescuing food daily from numerous sources for distribution to local charitable organizations, and through other cost-effective initiatives.