Food is too
important to waste.

We believe that food is too important to waste. 

We envision a Michigan where we value our food and don’t let it end up in landfills.

We work to stop food waste before it occurs and give overlooked food a place to go. 

Watermelon Slices - Make Food Not Waste - Creating lasting solutions to food waste in Detroit

Our mission is to keep food out of landfills and slow climate change by creating lasting solutions to food waste through education, food upcycling and advocacy.

Food recovery hierarchy

We focus our work on the two best solutions to food waste: source reduction—preventing too much food from being produced in the first place—and feeding people.

Of course, there will always be some surplus food. So the next best uses for it are feeding animals or using the food for industrial purposes—like turning scraps into fuel.

Finally, anything that remains after feeding people, feeding animals, and using it for industrial purposes should be composted. Composting is a healthier way to break down food than landfilling. It creates a nutrient-rich material that enriches soil and doesn’t produce methane like landfilled food does.

Landfills should be an absolute last resort if food can’t be used for any of the other above purposes.

Our history



Make Food Not Waste was founded in July 2017.

Our 1st community feast

We held our inaugural Community Feast at Eastern Market. We welcomed 2,500 people to sample dishes made by local chefs from food that would otherwise have gone to waste. We also donated an additional 1,000 meals to local shelters at the end of the day. We partnered with chefs and food suppliers from Mabel Gray, Selden Standard, Lady of the House, Keep Growing Detroit, Avalon International Breads, and more.
Our 1st community feast

Our 2nd community feast

We held our second Community Feast at Eastern Market. This time we reached even more people. Our partnering chefs served 3,500 attendees with an additional 1,500 serving donated to local shelters at the end of the day. We welcomed visiting James Beard Chefs Hari Pulapaka and Jennifer Hill Booker plus 17 local chefs who created dishes using unwanted produce and protein supplied by local partners.
Our 2nd community feast

Thanksgiving & Christmas meal distribution

We distributed 5,000 Thanksgiving meals and 1,000 Christmas meals for free to the community through a CARES Act grant.
Thanksgiving & Christmas meal distribution

Upcycling kitchen opened

We officially opened our Upcycling Kitchen at the Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church in Detroit. With this permanent space, we began distributing free meals to the community every single week, using ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Upcycling kitchen opened

Meet the team

Headshot of Danielle Todd
Danielle Todd
Executive Director
  • A fried egg makes just about any leftover taste better.
Kate Morgan
Communications Director
  • Whenever I have ingredients or leftovers I don’t think I’ll finish, they go in the freezer. You’d be surprised how many foods taste just as good after freezing.
Painted portrait of Brittiany
Brittiany Peeler
Community Engagement Director
  • I like using all parts of a product. I’ll pickle it, turn it into a jam or stock, or even make compost with it for my neighbors and I to use.
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Peter Bailey
Operations Director
  • I’ve been humbled by the power of sharing leftovers with strangers.
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Paul Green
Development Director
  • In the unlikely event that I don't finish everything on my plate, I look forward to working with my leftovers. Fried rice, sandwiches, and curries all make a great new application of leftover veggies, starches, and proteins.
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Shanel DeWalt
Culinary Director
  • You can prevent waste by reducing the amount of non biodegradable products you use in your everyday life.
Headshot of Alexis
Alexis Chingman-Tijerina
  • Aim to leave every space you enter better than you found it.
Headshot of Shay
Shay Goudia
  • One thing I learned a long time ago… when in doubt, stock it out. Add stock in place of water to any dish to add flavor and depth.
Headshot of Shannon
Shannon Zandee
Headshot of Dominique
Dominique Black
  • Don’t make more than you can take, but if you do love your leftovers!

Meet our board of directors

Headshot of Stephanie
Stephanie Osborn
  • I love the idea of Make Food Not Waste because it works to solve two problems that I am passionate about: mitigating climate change and feeding people. After spending time working on farms, I know how much hard work goes into growing food and want to make sure all of it can be enjoyed and not thrown away.
Photo of Rachelle
Rachelle Bonelli
  • I am excited to support the mission of Make Food Not Waste. Protection of the environment and achieving food security for all are very important to me. I look forward to working with others on food waste reduction in support of healthy people and a healthy planet.
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Tawnya Clark
  • I began volunteering with Make Food Not Waste in 2019, and I am honored to serve on the board as we work toward our vision of zero food waste in Michigan food-related businesses and homes.
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John Barbatano
Board Member
  • I’ve always been interested in the underlying “why.” What makes some problems seem intractable while others are quietly solved every day? Food waste has been a stubborn problem for a long time; is there something we’ve overlooked about the underlying causes or something new we can do to address them?
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Katherine Fuller
Board Member
  • I'm drawn to Make Food Not Waste for its commitment to creating lasting solutions to care for people and the planet. They engage my passion for food and community, and I'm so proud to work with this dynamic group.
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Ederique Goudia
Board Member
  • I'm excited and honored to continue my work with Make Food Not Waste to reduce the effects of climate change and be an advocate for those in our communities who are under-resourced.
Headshot of Matt Naud
Matt Naud
Board Member
  • I am excited to be back in Detroit supporting all of the community, climate, and circular economy benefits that come with managing food waste well.
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Marcus Reliford
Board Member
  • I am ready to serve our communities by teaching ways for us to reduce waste while also helping feed people in communities that need assistance. I am a foodie at heart so it just feels right being a part of this team.
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Brandon Seng
Board Member
  • Food waste is the issue of our time. It has undeniable economic, social and environmental impacts. I'm excited to be working with Make Food Not Waste, an organization critical in furthering the movement.
Headshot of Le'Genevieve
Le’Genevieve Squires
Board Member
  • I'm excited to join the board with Make Food Not Waste to help amplify empowering people through food education and feeding our communities how they deserve to be nourished. Food is medicine.

Our partners

We couldn’t do this work without the support of our partners.

Our affiliations

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