By: Allie Wilson
I joined MEANS as a volunteer in 2015, the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college that I spent working in a supermarket deli. Frustrated by all of the good food that was being thrown away, a friend recommended I start volunteering with a new nonprofit organization he started collaborating with. Once I learned about MEANS Database and the mission of the organization, I knew I wanted to play a part in helping save food and feed more people.
MEANS Database has grown from our early days as a scrappy group of students volunteering their time to tackle food waste and food insecurity to a nonprofit organization staffed with 3 board members, 8 full time staff, 6 part time staff, as well as a handful of volunteers who dedicate their free time to recovering food.
In the past 3 years, MEANS has gone through several transformations that have increased our impact and encouraged our team to think outside of the box. From our pivot to the Community Meal Program in 2020, to the creation of our Florida Program in 2021, we’ve seen our network grow and our capacity increase.
Our biggest change occurred in the second half of 2022, when we were introduced to a whole new world of food recovery: large donation recovery.
After recovering over 3 million pounds of food in 2022, we started off 2023 with the motto, “New Year, New MEANS”, dreaming of a record breaking year.
As we amplified our impact by recovering large donations of food, it became clear that we were entering a new chapter in our organization’s history.
We began donating truckloads of food from warehouses across the country, learning the world of transportation logistics and all of its intricacies along the way. Our fantastic Procurement Manager, William Bell, joined early last year, bringing over 20 years of experience of food recovery with large donations.
Under his leadership, we were able to donate over 52 million pounds of food and supplies in 2023 alone. To say 2023 was a record breaking year for MEANS would be an understatement!
We decided it was time to pivot towards a fresh look that conveys exactly who we are and what we do.
This is why, in 2024, MEANS Database rebranded as FoodRecovery.org- the same great organization with a clear-cut name describing exactly what we do: Save Food. Feed People.
We traded in our can logo that represented our original concept which focused on small food donations from restaurants, cafeterias, and events, for a new logo that highlights one of our main features – transportation of recovered food.
We are so excited to continue offering food to communities across the country under this new name and logo. Please continue supporting us as we start this new adventure!