Reduce Food Waste and Donate Food

Reduce Hunger

No one wants to believe hunger is a problem where they live.
Will County’s Population 2015: 679,069
Number of Residents Living in Poverty 2015: 43,879

 feeding america

The reality is that hunger is in every area no matter how big or small. Last year, 1 in 8 Illinois residents received emergency food from one of our partner agencies. Emergency food is available through three sources:

Emergency Food Pantries distribute nonprepared foods and other grocery products to needy clients, who then prepare and use these items where they live. Some food pantries also distribute fresh and frozen food and nutritious prepared food.  Food is distributed on a short-term or emergency basis until clients are able to meet their food needs.

Emergency Soup Kitchens provide prepared meals served at the kitchen to needy clients who do not reside on the premises. In some instances, kitchens may also provide lighter meals or snacks, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt and other dairy products, and prepared food such as sandwiches, for clients to take with them when the kitchen is closed.

Emergency Shelters provide shelter and serve one or more meals a day on a short-term basis to low-income clients in need. Shelter may be the primary or secondary purpose of the service. Examples include homeless shelters, shelters with substance abuse programs, and transitional shelters such as those for battered women.  The main purpose of Emergency food services is to provide food to those in hunger crisis.

Food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters receive the majority of their food items for distribution from a food bank. A food bank is a charitable organization that solicits, receives, inventories, stores, and distributes donated food and grocery products to charitable agencies that directly serve needy clients. These agencies include churches and qualifying nonprofit [Internal Revenue Code 501(c) (3)] charitable organizations. The Northern Illinois Food Bank serves Will County.

Northern Illinois Food Bank: 

Vision and Missionlogo for northern illinois food bank

Their vision is to create a hunger-free northern Illinois.  
Their mission is to provide nutritious food to all those in need through their own efforts and those of their non-profit partners.
The Northern Illinois Food Bank is part of Feeding America.

Feeding America (FA), formerly America’s Second Harvest, plays a critical role in helping food banks accomplish their mission. FA, a network comprised of about 80% off all food banks in the United States, supports the emergency food system by obtaining food for the system from national organizations, such as major food companies, and providing technical assistance and other services to the food banks and food rescue organizations. Northern Illinois Food Bank receives food items from Feeding America.

Will County’s emergency  food providers (pantries, soup kitchens and shelters) receive food items from Northern Illinois Food Bank and also from Local Food Sources.  Among the local sources are purchased food programs, national donors, produce programs, food salvage & reclamation, prepared food programs, local food drives, local farmers, local retailers, growers, manufacturers, USDA commodities and residents.

Residential support for local food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters is so vital in their success: Support can come in the form of food donations, monetary donations and volunteerism. Below is a link to the Northern Illinois Food Bank Will County locations for emergency and non emergency locations: Included are contact numbers. 


The Idea

Ample harvest 3
While more than 50 million Americans live in food insecure homes (including a quarter of all children under the age of six), more than 40 million Americans grow fruit, vegetables herbs and nuts in home gardens - often more than they can use, preserve or give to friends.

The Opportunity

Struggling to feed their families, many Americans, both those chronically economically challenged as well as those now impacted by the economic downturn have come to rely on the more than 33,500 food pantries (also called food shelves, food closets, food cupboards or food banks in some areas) across America to help feed their families.

These food pantries, relying on donated and purchased foods, almost never have fresh produce and instead rely on canned or processed produce shipped from across the country at significant cost, both economic and environmental.

At the same time, millions of home and community gardeners nationwide with an abundant harvest do not know that they can share their harvest, do not know how to share their harvest and do not know where to share their harvest. solves that for them.

The Vision envisions an America where millions of gardeners eliminate malnutrition and hunger in their own community.

The Mission diminishes hunger in America by educating, encouraging and enabling gardeners to donate their excess harvest to the needy in their community instead of allowing it to rot in the garden. There are no costs to the food pantries or the gardeners for use of

The Message
A number of America's problem could be diminished or even solved if everyone valued our resources, especially fresh food, as the treasure it really is. Our message to America is:


No Food Left Behind

What We Do We enable you to use the Internet to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in your own community. connects 40+ million Americans with excess food in their garden and local food pantries. Garden by garden, home & community gardeners and other growers are fighting hunger and malnutrition in America.

Our core mission: No Food Left Behind Why We Do It One out of six Americans needs food assistance, but can't get fresh produce from the local food pantry, while, millions of American homeowners grow more food in their backyard gardens than they can possibly use. It Doesn't Have to Be This Way! envisions an America where millions of gardeners eliminate malnutrition and hunger in their own community using only their backyard gardens. Ways You Can Help Urge a food pantry to register at Find the food pantry in your community, possibly in a nearby house of worship, a YMCA or other civic location. Give them this flyer and urge them to register ASAP. Let them know they don't need extra refrigeration and that is totally FREE!. Help others learn about

Put this article in your blog or newsletter Help local gardeners learn to share their excess harvest.

Print this two sided flyer and post it a local garden shops, nurseries, supermarket bulletin boards, etc. to help gardeners learn about the opportunity to help the hungry. Help publicize the Campaign
Ask your local media to visit this page and do a story about people in the community wanting fresh produce for their families from the local food pantry. Help promote "No Food Left Behind". Lastly, donate food from your garden.
Find a local food pantry here. Not growing anything right now? Use our iPhone and Android apps to help find a local food pantry when you are shopping.

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