Make Food Not Waste

Detroit, MI   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Make Food Not Waste

EIN: 85-3423759


Our mission is to keep food out of landfills and slow climate change by creating lasting solutions to food waste through education, food upcycling and advisory services.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Danielle Todd

Main address

8625 E Jefferson Ave

Detroit, MI 48214 USA

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Subject area info

Climate change

Energy resources

Community food systems

Community service

Food aid

Population served info

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms

Show Forms 990


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Wasted food is food that doesn’t get eaten but instead gets disposed of in the garbage or down the drain. Some of this includes inedible parts of produce like cores and stems, but a large amount of it is perfectly edible food that was wasted instead of eaten. In fact, Americans throw away 40% of the food we grow, and most of that waste occurs in our homes and consumer-facing businesses. Households make up 37% of wasted food and consumer-facing businesses account for 28%. When food is landfilled, it doesn’t get the oxygen it needs to break down properly. Instead, it rots and releases methane—one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Wasted food has such large climate impacts that Project Drawdown has ranked food waste reduction as one of the single best ways to slow climate change. What would you do with an extra $1,500? Wasted food hurts the environment! Wasted food hurts your wallet! Wasted food hurts our communities!

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Upcycling Kitchen

At our Upcycling Kitchen on the east side of Detroit, we take in surplus produce from farms, grocery stores, and other food distributors, as well as unexpected ingredients like leftover pierogi dough and other spare ingredients from local restaurants. Each week, our team of professional chefs uses those rescued ingredients to create more than 1000 delicious, nutritious, and complete meals for the community.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of meals served or provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Upcycling Kitchen

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Make Food Not Waste is an environmental organization that works to decrease waste in the food system. Wasted food both wastes critical resources and also produces harmful greenhouse gasses. The organization's efforts are in line with shared goal of the state of Michigan, the federal government, and the United Nations to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.

Make Food Not Waste is Michigan’s voice for food waste reduction and prevention. Our
Upcycling Kitchens on Detroit’s East and West sides utilize food that would otherwise be wasted. There, the chef’s turn food that was headed for the landfill into delicious and nutritious meals that are distributed for free to community members.

Consumers account for the largest portion of food waste. We partner with individuals and other organizations to educate consumers about the importance of reducing food waste.

We also pursue our goals by providing technical assistance services including two programs to help restaurants reduce their food waste: The PLEDGE™ and The PRIMER on Food Waste. By joining one of these programs, restaurants commit to reducing their carbon footprints, saving money, and giving back to the community. The PLEDGE™ on Food Waste is an international third-party certification program that instructs restaurants, hotels, convention centers, and other foodservice businesses in tactics to reduce the amount of food they throw away. Make Food Not Waste is the first organization in the United States to offer this program. The PRIMER on Food Waste is a bite-sized version of The PLEDGE™, designed specifically for smaller scale food businesses or restaurants that aren’t ready to commit to the full PLEDGE™ curriculum. This program takes a simplified approach to allow restaurants to easily adopt the most important tactics for food waste reduction. Restaurants can get started with the PRIMER and progress to the full PLEDGE™ certification to continue their food waste reduction journey.

Finally, we work with regulators and other like minded partners across the state to inform and advocate for policy aiming to reduce food waste at all levels of the supply chain.

Our UpcyclingKitchens are staffed by professional chefs who were brought into the organization because of the passion they share for our mission, and their particular skill at working with irregular sources, varieties, and volumes of food.

We’ve grown a lot since our first community feast in 2017. Since then we’ve developed programs to support local businesses in reducing their food waste and have built lasting partnerships with organizations like the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). We are working with the state of Michigan to plot a course to reduce food waste and have a board full of resourceful, passionate, experts to help us take steps to increase the impact of our work.

Partnerships are another key to success. Rather than be distracted by logistics, we partner with food rescue organizations and other experts in the community to help food find its way to our kitchens. By specializing in the processing and distribution of rescued food to Detroiters, we save effort and increase capacity.

During our last fiscal year, we kept approximately 625,000 pounds of greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere by saving food and preparing 100,000 meals for our community. We opened our second Upcycling Kitchen which has allowed us to modify operations in a way that optimizes the two kitchens based on their size, infrastructure, and accessibility.

We also certified 7 area kitchens, including the first university dining service in the United States in The PledgeTM on Food Waste. We were selected to co-write Michigan’s first Roadmap on Food Waste Reduction for the Department of Energy, Great Lakes and Energy. We raised more funds than ever before and began an ongoing expansion of our team that will increase our capacity to affect change and increase our impact. We are also working with partners to explore innovative solutions that would allow us to utilize new technologies to process Michigan’s food waste into upcycled ingredients for the production of new retail foods.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


Make Food Not Waste
Fiscal year: Feb 08 - Sep 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Make Food Not Waste

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Feb 08 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Make Food Not Waste

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Feb 08 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Danielle Todd

Danielle founded Make Food Not Waste in 2017 to address climate change. Prior to Make Food Not Waste, Danielle worked in communications at an environmental nonprofit and in business development in the for-profit industry. She holds an MBA from Wayne State University and a BA from the University of Michigan.

Make Food Not Waste

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Make Food Not Waste

Board of directors
as of 08/22/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Stephanie Osborn

Giffels Webster

Tawnya Clark

Seasons Market

Katherine Fuller

United Way of Southeast Michigan

Matt Naud


John Barbatano

OHM Advisors

Rachelle Bonelli

Community Member

Marcus Reliford


Brandon Seng

Eastern Market

Ederique Gaudia

In the Business of Food

Le'Genevieve Squires

Detroit Food Academy

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/14/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/21/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.