Waste Not OC is a public-private coalition formed with the goal of eliminating hunger and reducing food waste by facilitating the donation of wholesome surplus food from permitted food facilities to local pantries. The overall vision of the coalition is to end hunger in Orange County using a three-step approach:
Redirecting unwanted wholesome food to local pantries
Restaurants, grocery stores, entertainment venues and schools can donate their excess food by calling our Food Recovery line 1-855-700-WNOC (9662). Recovered food is then distributed to local pantries where it will feed the most vulnerable in our community.
Identifying individuals impacted by food insecurity
We provide doctors and medical care professionals two screening questions to ask patients they suspect are suffering from food insecurity. The AAP-FRAC toolkit can be found at www.frac.org/aaptoolkit.
Connecting those individuals to sources of food
Healthcare providers can provide patients with assistance by directing them to the Waste Not OC Google Map (wastenotoc.org) or encouraging them to dial 2-1-1 OC for the location and operating hours of each pantry in Orange County.
Formed in November 2012, Waste Not OC Coalition (WNOC) was conceived from a question posed by the Orange County Public Health Officer, Dr. Eric Handler, to Mark Lowry, Director of the Orange County Food Bank: “if we were able to capture food that is wasted and direct it to people in need, could we end hunger in Orange County?” to which Lowry replied with a simple, “yes.” This conversation developed into a brainstorming of ideas to eliminate food insecurity in the county which lead to the shared creation of Waste Not OC. Waste Not OC brought together both county food banks along with representatives from the Food Industry to determine if recovered food could be directed to help end hunger. Ultimately the cities of Anaheim and Orange were chosen for a pilot project.