Success: Start-Up Helps United States Reduce Food Waste

Target: Matt Jozwiak, Founder of ReThink Food NYC

Goal: Praise non-profit startup for helping reduce food waste in the United States.

A nonprofit start-up in New York is turning scraps and high-end restaurant leftovers into meals for people in need. It is a disheartening fact that 40 percent of all food produced in the United States goes to waste. Paradoxically, millions of people face hunger everyday, with 1.4 million in New York City alone. With a small team of 16 chefs, volunteers, and kitchen staff, the start-up cooks and packages the repurposed high-end restaurant leftovers.

The start-up, ReThink Food NYC, is planning on serving up one million meals in the city per year. Everyday, they receive around 30 pounds of waste from each restaurant they work with, equalling to about 50-75 meals. All other tools are provided for by partner organizations and companies. To convince restaurants to donate, ReThink takes full responsibility for any food poisoning incidences (a case which has never existed in non-profit food distribution), replacing leftover containers, taking the leftovers on a daily basis, and offering tax deductions.

While many anti-hunger advocates claim that this venture will not solve hunger in the long run, it is certainly helping reduce food waste in the United States, even if it is only operating in one city for now. Another challenge they face is funding, and perhaps a more daunting one is collaborating with other organizations that are doing similar work. The process is far from perfect, but there is no doubt that given the chance to realize their full potential, ReThink could make an impact in helping reduce food waste in the U.S., especially in cities where there is a significant gap between the wealthy and the poor. Sign the petition below to show your support for ReThink.


Dear Mr. Jozwiak,

I admire your nonprofit start-up, which is already helping to reduce food waste in the U.S., starting in New York City. The idea of saving food from high-end restaurants and repurposing it to help end hunger and reduce waste is truly refreshing to see. With over 40 percent of all food produced in our country going to waste, even saving 30 pounds of leftovers and food scraps from restaurants is a step towards becoming a zero-waste society. Additionally, they are already starting pilot programs in cities like Chicago, which is promising for the rest of the country.

I appreciate that you treat the needy like clients in a diner and value their nutritional needs as well as their opinions. I understand that you are facing challenges as a new startup, from financial difficulties to miscommunication with other organizations that are doing similar food redistribution work. I would like to thank you for your efforts and encourage you to face the obstacles your organization faces with a determined spirit. I hope that your organization continues to grow  and expand to other cities across the country.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Civil Eats

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  1. gen agustsson says:

    reducing food waste is not enough. we all need 0 food waste. meat goes to the carnivores like lions, the tigers, the cats, and the k9s.

  2. I signed. This is a good thing to do: save the food so it is still good, and then distribute the food to those in who will make good use of the food.

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