Waste Not Want Not was founded by Nancy Beyda and Alex Rose.  For over 10 years a group of volunteers have been picking up food donated by grocery stores, restaurants and hotels, and delivering it to organizations that feed and serve the homeless of greater Los Angeles.  A typical day’s donation consists of fresh fruits, vegetables and bakery items which would otherwise have been thrown away – our associated  shelter organizers say they could always use more.

 One survey by the Los Angeles Services Homeless Authority reported that on any given day in Los Angeles, some 73,000 people have no place to call home – making ours the largest homeless population of any city in the U.S.  Ending Food Waste – Food recovery is one creative way to help reduce hunger in America. It supplements Federal food assistance programs by making better use of a food source that already exists.

Up to one-fifth (1/5) of America’s food goes to waste each year, with an estimated one-hundred thirty (130lbs.) pounds of food per person ending up in landfills. Because landfills lack oxygen, food breaks down in a manner that releases methane – a greenhouse gas that traps twenty (20x) times more heat than carbon dioxide, thereby worsening global warming. For example, a 2009 report from the United Kingdom estimated the Londoners’ food waste creates 6.3 million tons of green house gases per year.


Waste Not Want Not intends to raise consciousness about the widespread waste of food resources.A recent publication by the United States Environmental Protection Agency makes clear the magnitude of the problem: “Approximately 100 billion pounds of food – about 3,000 pounds per second – is wasted in the United States each year,” the EPA publication states. Another Federal agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has calculated that twenty-seven (27%) percent of all the food produced annually in our country is lost or wasted “at retail, consumer and food service levels.”

The annual value of this lost food is estimated at around $31billion. But the real story is that roughly 49 million people could have been fed by those lost resources.

Instead of excess food from the markets going into the waste stream, Waste Not Want Not diverts the excess food from markets into the hands of charities that feed the hungry

Waste Not Want Not aims to reduce food waste and, consequently, to reduce the negative environmental impacts of putting edible items into the waste stream.