My experience as a volunteer at Food Thanks

I am Ashley, a third year college student. During the summer, I volunteered at Food Thanks, an organization that collects food from restaurants and food producers, prepares or repacks them and delivers them to charities or shelters or to homeless people who need food the most.

When I started, I already knew exactly the kind of work that they were doing. However, I never had any idea of the impact that it would have on me and on my life. I started my first day joining the food trucks and collecting food from our various partner restaurants and food producers. The collecting part was easy, people just gave us lots of excess food. I never knew that restaurants can actually have that much excess in a day. I also never knew that groceries and food producers will be giving out so much available produce because they cannot anymore sell it the following day. I also met a lot of the food packers and cooks during the first day. They were the ones in charge of checking the food if they were still edible, repacking them and cooking them in order to extend their shelf life. It was all so very fascinating.

But I was really humbled when I met the beneficiaries. I was sheltered my whole life so I didn’t know that there could be a lot of people living on the streets, homeless, and without any money to buy food. I was so glad that I could help them by helping pack the food and distributing it to them. I know that what I did was not really that much. But it gave me a lot of fulfillment. Now, I know what I want to do when I graduate. I want to be part of a charity that can really help the poorest people. My gratitude to Food Thanks for opening my eyes and making me realize that I can contribute what I can to uplift people’s lives even for just a little bit.

Food Thanks – reaching out to those in need of food

Food Thanks – reaching out to those in need of food

Are you a restaurant, a grocery or producer of food? If so, then we are looking for you.

Food Thanks is a not-for-profit organization that aims to collect edible food for distribution to our partner soup kitchens and charities that work with homeless persons. We collect food from different areas, ensure that it is edible and fit for consumption, properly store it in our pantry, re-pack or prepare it if needed, and distribute it to our partners.

We are doing this because we know for a fact that there are lots of homeless and hungry people in the United States, and even in Arizona. At the same time, there are also lots of food that are being wasted. Therefore, we wanted to connect all food producers and groceries with available food to those who need it most. If you are an organization or individual with an excess of edible food, let us know. We will be happy to go to you and collect the food that you have and give it to those who require it.

Food Thanks started sometime in 2015. We were founded by the couple Tony and Samantha Davis. We used to be housed in their  garage until the water heater broke and flooded the garage ruining the custom garage door in Tucson. But our services become so much in demand that we had to move to another location. Also, we have grown so much with the addition of various partners who are now helping us in the work that we do.

The following lists down the kind of services that we offer:

Food Collection

We collect edible food wherever you may be. We have available food trucks with refrigeration systems and a pantry that can stock up on food. Our only request is that you make sure that the food you will be sending us is edible and not past its expiry date. We are very strict in terms of food safety as we want to ensure that our beneficiaries benefit from the food that you will contribute.

Food Distribution

Currently, Food Thanks collaborates with its partner charities in terms of pinpointing the recipients of food. We do not work with individuals nor give away food to individuals. This is because we want to make sure that our food recipients are definitely those who require assistance. It is the role of our partners to validate them and make sure that the food that we have reaches them.

Food Repackaging and Preparation

We have a food repackaging and preparation group that takes care of making sure that the food that we have is enough for all of our beneficiaries. They work closely with our food distribution group to make sure that this happens.

We strongly encourage all food producers, groceries and restaurants with excess food items to contact us. Let us not allow food to go to waste. Instead, let us work together to give it to those who need it most. If you are a charity or a soup kitchen working with the poor and homeless, contact us too so we can discuss how we can work together.