“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 watse-not-want-