Waste Not, Want Not—Harvesting Backyard Fruit To Help Needy

December 30, 2008 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment


With all the talk about sustainability and being green, why do we still let tons of nutritious fruit regularly hit the ground and go to waste? With so many of Maui’s community in need, now is the time to recycle or “cycle” this abundance by harvesting this ripe fruit and distributing it to the hungry. This “cycle” is referred to as “Waste Not Want Not” which is also the name of a new organization of volunteer harvesters who help Maui’s hungry by harvesting backyard fruit trees.

“Waste Not, Want Not” is comprised of local community volunteers who regularly collect ripe, unwanted fruit that would otherwise go to waste. With the help of Maui Food Bank, the fruit is distributed to locations where senior citizens and low-income communities can easily obtain this ready to eat, 100% natural nutritional fruit at no cost. “With the large increase in demand for food assistance there has never been a better time for a program like this. Fresh fruit and vegetables play a vital role in proper nutrition and having a balanced diet is the key to ones overall well being. We are always looking to bring in new sources of food and Waste Not Want Not is a great
addition.” Richard Yust, Executive Director of Maui Food Bank.

“Fruit cycling is truly a community run operation,” says Suzanne Freitas, co-founder of WNWN. “It works as long as the volunteers continue to harvest, the fruit tree owners continue to donate and the sponsors continue to supply the tools to make it all possible.”

“Waste Not Want Not” and it’s volunteers believe the unwanted fruit that would end up on the ground or in the trash should go to those who can use it but don’t have the means to collect or buy it.

“This idea is not new, “Village Harvest” of San Jose, California has been cycling fruit since 2001 and last year alone harvested 62.5 tons,” says James Mylenek Sr., co-founder and director of “Waste Not Want Not.” “We’ve been in communication with “Village Harvest” and other
volunteer harvesting groups to learn from their experiences.”

This startup organization is currently using their personal truck, barrowed ladders and other needed equipment with the hope they can expand the operation and increase their harvesting ability to serve all the communities of the Hawaiian islands.

With these challenging economic times, more and more residents have come to rely on their own local means to sustain their families. Our future is all about community involvement. “Wasting large amounts of food is no longer acceptable and so it’s time to act. The fruit is ready and waiting, lets cycle it,” says Ms. Freitas.

To learn more about “Waste Not, Want Not,” become a volunteer, donate fruit, or make a contribution to support the program, visit waste-not-want-not.org or call 808.874.8038 or send an email. To locate an organization near you where the Food Bank distributes the “Waste Not Want Not” fruit call 211.


Entry filed under: Food, Recycling & Conservation.

Kihei Elementary School Garden Two January Events on the Big Island

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Latest Articles

RSS care2.com

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Earth2Tech

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS The Abrams Clean Tech Report

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Styrophobia

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS EcoGeek

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Friends of the Earth

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Blogroll from Abrams Clean Tech Report


December 2008
« Nov   Jan »

%d bloggers like this: