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Caring for Food & Community

Why We Care About Food Waste: three stories of taking action at home and in community


A family of 4 in the United States wastes an average of almost $2,000 per year on food that isn't eaten, while at the same time, 1 in 4 households in Alameda County are in need of food assistance.
We can all do something about this!

As seen in the current issue of Edible East Bay, StopWaste produced a short video about three local leaders whose unique connections to food heal and sustain their communities.  Meet them below and sign up for our monthly Stop Food Waste newsletter to get more tips and recipes to make the most of your food.


Chef Sarah Germany
Founder, The Food Commonweal

Chef Sarah is an East Oakland resident, chef, educator, and parent. Through her organization, The Food Commonweal, she works with local farmers and growers to make the most of surplus locally grown produce to supplement the cost of whole food meals. Her work as a chef, educator, and leader in the community, aims to reduce the mortality rate amongst East Oakland residents by reducing the growing rates of obesity, diabetes, and other nutrition-related health crises. 

Learn more about Chef Sarah and her work in this Edible East Bay, Summer 2023 feature article.

Try Chef Sarah's recipe for Tangy Hot & Sweet BBQ Sauces, using surplus, wrinkly, or bruised tomatoes and apricots.

Paddy Iyer 
Executive Director, Daily Bowl

Daily Bowl recovers excess food that would otherwise go to waste and delivers it to Bay Area agencies that feed families in need of food resources. As one of the founders and the Executive Director of Daily Bowl, Paddy Iyer has become deeply attuned to the needs of the various communities in Alameda County who access these food distribution sites. Paddy has made it a foundational principle of his work to ensure that the food he is recovering and providing to these food organizations is culturally sensitive and meeting the diverse needs of each family. Providing food that is culturally appropriate, while also sharing his own experiences with food items that can cross cultural lines, he not only rescues food at the grocery level, but is helping families reduce their own food waste at home.

Learn more about Daily Bowl and Paddy Iyer in this short profile.

Nikia Durgin
Worker-Owner, Mandela Grocery Cooperative

Nikia is a worker-owner at Mandela Grocery Cooperative, a worker-owned grocery store in West Oakland that aims to strengthen and diversify the local economy, holding workers’ lives and community benefits at the core of its existence. Nikia is also a mother and celebrated musician, conscious of her role and influence in her son Matthew's life as well as those in the larger community. Access to nutritious, locally grown, healthy food, and ensuring that we make the most of it is a value Nikia passes on to Matthew as well as through her work managing the Coop's Sunday Service program in which they take surplus food from the store to make hot meals and grocery bags for the houseless neighbors in the community. 

Watch Nikia and Matthew, as they use simple ingredients and leftovers to make breakfast tacos at Mandela Grocery Coop in this short video.