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

2017

Founding

Make Food Not Waste was founded in July 2017.
Founding
2018

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
2019

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
2020

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
2021

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

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Danielle Todd
Executive Director
  • A fried egg makes just about any leftover taste better.
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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.
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Ederique Goudia
Lead Chef
  • There’s no such thing as too much garlic.
Alexis Chingman-Tijerina
Alexis Chingman-Tijerina
Chef
  • Aim to leave every space you enter better than you found it.
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Shay Goudia
Chef
  • 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.
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Shannon Zandee
Chef
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Shanel Dewalt
Chef
  • You can prevent waste by reducing the amount of non biodegradable products you use in your everyday life.

Meet our board of directors

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Stephanie Osborn
President
  • 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.
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Dorothy Hernandez
Secretary
  • Grew up in a household where throwing away food, especially rice, was unacceptable. My favorite thing to do to cut down on food waste is to make fried rice out of leftovers. Spam, grilled vegetables, taco meat, you name it — if it’s leftovers it will be great in fried rice (and stealing Danielle’s tip, a fried egg is the perfect topping)!
Tawnya Clark
Tawnya Clark
Treasurer
  • 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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Tracy Zeman
Board Member
  • MFNW offers common-sense, implementable, and replicable solutions to a global ecological crisis. What’s better than that?

Our partners

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

Our affiliations

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