Waste Not, Want Not starts each morning by collecting surplus food items from our local grocery store partners. Daily pick-ups made by 0-emissions bicycle courier Shift Delivery are brought to the ABLF kitchens for our chefs to process.

Once food is on-site, we weigh and quality check all items before sorting them into specialized food hampers or sending ingredients to the kitchen to be repurposed for production. We recover many delicious ready-to-eat goods (think quinoa salads, pesto chicken sandwiches on harvest grain bread, probiotic yogurt cups, pierogi dinners, sweet n’ sticky Danish pastries and more!)  that are perfect for the needs of DTES outreach organizations that support young mothers, seniors, indigenous groups and street-entrenched youth. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with these local partners to make sure the right food items are matched with the right recipients.

Waste Not, Want Not recovered food items waiting to be weighed and processed by ABLF Chefs.

Due in part to special funding, we have a dedicated Waste Not Want Not Chef who designs recipes that anticipate recovered ingredients and maximize their impact. These dishes coordinate with potential surplus food on-hand from the #DailyMealProgram that is produced in the same kitchen, ensuring our entire operation is as close to zero waste as possible.

Each day, Waste Not Want Not includes a hot and cold offering often served together, and averages 200 portions. Aloo Gobi on Rice and Banana Bread with Warm Butter,  Orzo Risotto Arancini with Red Pepper Sauce and Green Salad with Herb Dressing, Barley Risotto with Beef and Mushroom and Mediterranean Salad are just some of the delicious selections we send into the community.

Recovered food before being processed and made into meals before & after!


We introduced the Waste Not, Want Not program in June 2020 through a special partnership with FoodMesh and in that short time has been able to achieve some pretty remarkable results. Altogether, Waste Not Want Not has diverted over ‼️20 METRIC TONNES‼️ of waste from entering the landfill specifically through our FoodMesh partnership! In under a year and a half, the impact this program has had for both our community and environment is pretty special. Check it out: ???? 22,651 kg of waste diverted from the landfill ⁠ ???? 43,037kg of C02 saved from entering the atmosphere⁠ ???? 37,640 meals (equivalent) made from recovered food ingredients and served to our community. Altogether, we approximate over 64,000 meals have been served through Waste Not, Want Not!