People's Kitchen and Training Center


The project’s purpose is to transform an underutilized space in Detroit into a processing kitchen that can divert a minimum of one million pounds of food from landfills annually, while providing high-quality prepared meals for Detroit residents. 

Additionally, it will create well-paying jobs for the community, and deliver professional culinary training and education for aspiring chefs and the public. 

This type of space is needed in the city in order to fill gaps in the food system related to food diversion, food access, and education. 

The organization will continue its practice of engaging the community, following DEI best practices, and developing and maintaining strong partnerships.

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Detroit generates 114k tons of food waste each year, the majority of which is landfilled.

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According to the NRDC, Detroit generates 114k tons of food waste annually. The majority of this waste is landfilled, thereby contributing to climate change and resource depletion

Make Food Not Waste has identified that a key source of this food waste is edible, surplus food that requires processing. 

Since January 2021, Make Food Not Waste has experimented with handling these foods, transforming them into high-quality community meals. These meals are provided to Detroit residents facing food insecurity at no cost. 

Feedback from the recipients includes: the meals provide an introduction to new taste and flavors and help increase consumption of vegetables, the meals are beneficial to those without the ability to cook meals from scratch, and the meals increase a sense of community. 

Learnings from this experience have informed the development of the People’s Kitchen and Training Center project. 

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We can divert one million pounds of food from landfills annually, while providing high-quality prepared meals for Detroiters.

About Make Food Not Waste

Make Food Not Waste is a Detroit-based nonprofit founded in 2017 to keep food out of landfills and slow climate change by processing edible, nutritious food that currently goes to waste and reducing food waste in the food service and household sectors. 

The organization has grown significantly since opening its first kitchen in January 2021 by focusing on developing strong community partnerships and filling key gaps in the local food system. 

Make Food Not Waste is a leader in FWR (food waste reduction) awareness building and technical training. The organization works with local restaurant and hospitality groups on an international food waste reduction certification program, The PLEDGE on Food Waste, leads household education campaigns, and advises local and state governments on FWR best practices

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About Soil2Service

Founded in 2017, Soil2Service supports and operates Detroit Institute of Gastronomy (DIG). Through this program, DIG offers apprentice style culinary education in a unique hybrid environment that leads to a diploma and multiple certifications. 

The organization also operates the Culinary Skills Development Course, a four-week job readiness program that is an approved program under the State of Michigan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

Soil2Service chefs regularly lead events and classes to increase the public’s culinary knowledge. 

About People's

People’s Restaurant Equipment Co. was founded in 1918 by Harry Paul and is Michigan’s oldest restaurant equipment companyOne of Paul’s partners, Gary Corsi, began assuming ownership in the 1970’s. The business is now operated by Corsi’s son, Dante. 

Located near Detroit’s food hub, Eastern Market, the People’s building is a public-facing retail facility with two floors of unused commercial space. The Corsi Family is looking to maximize the use of the building with a focus on food-driven businesses and nonprofits.

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Danielle Todd, Executive Director, Make Food Not Waste

Danielle founded Make Food Not Waste in 2017 as a vehicle to reduce the amount of landfilled food in Detroit. She has led the organization’s annual large-scale event, The Community Feast, the creation of the Upcycling Kitchen located in Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church, and the partnership with the National Resources Defense Council’s Great Lakes Food Matters cohort. She is also an accredited consultant with The PLEDGE on Food Waste. Danielle is a frequent local and national speaker on the topic of food waste reduction. Prior to Make Food Not Waste, Danielle worked in business development and marketing in the nonprofit and for-profit industries for 15+ years. Danielle holds an MBA from Wayne State University and a BA from University of Michigan. 


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Peter Bailey, Operations Director, Make Food Not Waste

Peter is an entrepreneur, environmental scientist and leadership coach. He is a certified circular economy consultant with Circulab, an international organization devoted to creating regenerative business models. His interest in organics upcycling began during his time as a co-founder at Two James Spirits, a local craft distillery. Peter manages a number of community development projects focusing on affordable housing in Detroit. He holds an M.S. in sustainable systems from the University of Michigan and a certificate in leadership and performance coaching from Rutgers University.


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Shanel Dewalt, Culinary Director, Make Food Not Waste

Chef Shanel “Nel” DeWalt has more than seven years of experience working in the restaurant industry. The Michigan Chronicle recognized her in their “Best Of Young Detroit” section by UAW-Ford stating that she is “a dynamic young woman in our community…”. Live in the D featured her in their home grown segment that showcased her culinary skills she is providing for the community. More recently, Chef Nel became the first African American Female Chef in Residence at Kellogg Company and the 2021 Forgotten Harvest Chopped Down Hunger Champion. Chef Nel obtained her Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from the Schoolcraft College Culinary Program. 


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Brittiany Peeler, Community Engagement Director Make Food Not Waste

Brittiany Peeler is a Michigan native, born in Flint Michigan and raised in Detroit. Brittiany’s ancestral lineage is rooted in indigenous Choctaw and Cherokee Native Americans as well as African American. Having a passion and roots for healing, Brittiany attended Western Michigan University pursuing a bachelor’s degree of science and further pursuing a career as a physician. This journey allowed Brittiany to pursue a career with the United States Navy in 2010 where she enlisted as a Culinary Specialist. After four years in the Navy, Brittiany returned home to Detroit where she worked as a butcher for the Eastern Market. Becoming a chef allowed the approach to see food as the vehicle to discuss health. Brittiany utilized her skills and focused her work on the education behind how food is medicine and later teamed up with partner Le’Genevieve Squires to co-found Experience Relish DBA Relish Catering in 2018. Brittiany hopes to empower our youth and adults to take charge of their environments and their well-being, starting with the food we choose and our relationship with food and food waste.


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Kate Morgan, Communications Director, Make Food Not Waste

For the last 11 years, Kate has worked in nonprofit communications with organizations that are dedicated to building a better world. Her work has touched many issues, including civic engagement, criminal justice reform, disability rights, economic justice, and climate action. As the communications director for Make Food Not Waste, she combines her passion for talking about food with her desire to protect the environment. Kate is a life-long Michigander and a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University with a degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics and dual minors in Women and Gender Studies and Spanish. Outside of work, she can be found spending time in nature, trying a new vegetarian recipe, or reading a good book.


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Jeremy Abbey, WCMC, CEC, CEPC, CCE, CCA Executive Director, Soil2Service

A Detroit native, Jeremy has worked in some of Detroit’s premier restaurants and has opened some of the most influential hospitality concepts in the nation. From fine dining to retail to hospitals and education, his diverse experience in the culinary arts has allowed him to affect the lives of many, now on a global scale. By challenging his skill set through international competition and the startup of DUO, he earned the World Certified Master Chef designation from World Chefs along with the Certified Executive Chef, Executive Pastry Chef, Culinary Educator and Culinary Administrator from the American Culinary Federation. He holds a degree in Culinary Arts and a degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Jeremy has run a successful catering and consulting operation for more than 20 years and has consulted on the opening of multi-million dollar concepts. 


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John Piazza, CEC, CCE, CCA Executive Director of Business Development, Soil2Service

Chef Piazza’s career in the world of culinary arts and business management reflects his creativity, versatility and entrepreneurial spirit. John started working in restaurant kitchens at the age of 15. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He later earned an Associate Degree of Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY. After years as a chef and restaurant operator, John joined a post-secondary institution in the Metro Detroit area to create and direct a multi-campus culinary arts school. John has joined the American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation as both a post-secondary school accreditation evaluator and an ACF certification practical exam evaluator. Currently, John is the Executive Director of Business Development for Soil2Service, Inc., a project consultant for the American Culinary Federation, and the treasurer of the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association. 

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