High gas prices impacting one Arizona company’s ability to give back
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - At this point, high gas prices are unfortunately nothing new to Arizonans. It’s led many in our state to change their plans to include less driving. But that lack of driving has had negative consequences for Valley company Waste Not.
The Scottsdale-based company distributes leftover food from restaurants and grocery stores to non-profits that help feed the hungry. “We do really enjoy the fact that we get to rescue food that would literally just go to landfill,” Waste Not agency community initiative manager Karina Gutierrez said. Waste Not typically relies heavily on volunteers to transport the food. But with rising gas prices, volunteer engagement has recently decreased by 40%. That’s tough news for some of the restaurants that had partnered with Waste Not.
“It’s straight within our ethos to be taking anything that we don’t use to giving it back to someone that could use it,” Sante restaurant owner Nico Doniele said. “You know, sometimes you don’t sell everything, and there are things in the back that we don’t go through. So I think it’s really important that people know that there are things out there like that.”
Recently, Doniele’s Scottsdale-based restaurant had to instead throw this food out because volunteers have canceled at the last minute. Gutierrez says they were worried about the miles and the cost of gas it takes to deliver the food. “We do try to connect a partnering agency with a donor that’s within a ten-mile radius,” Gutierrez said. “And so, that’ll then keep it down. But it depends on how far away the volunteer is coming from.”
In the meantime, Gutierrez hopes the impact these deliveries have will outweigh the cost. And that this will reverse the recent trend of volunteers not driving for Waste Not. “This is food that needs to be able to be rescued,” she said. “It’s a systemic issue, and so we really appreciate any help we can get to help solve these problems.”
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