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Waste Not OC Coalition

 1901 E 4th St Ste 100
 Santa Ana , CA 92705
[P] (855) 700 9662 x 102
[F] --
[email protected]
Mike Learakos
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Waste Not OC Coalition
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 95-2021700 00018


Mission StatementMORE »

Waste Not OC Coalition works collaboratively with hospitals, food banks,municipalities, the food industry and the waste hauling industry to reduce hunger and food waste by safely and cost effectively recovering unwanted wholesome food for distribution to local pantries serving those in our community facing food insecurity.

Mission Statement

Waste Not OC Coalition works collaboratively with hospitals, food banks,municipalities, the food industry and the waste hauling industry to reduce hunger and food waste by safely and cost effectively recovering unwanted wholesome food for distribution to local pantries serving those in our community facing food insecurity.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $296,930.00
Projected Revenue $302,830.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Food Recovery Kitchen
  • Food Recovery Model
  • Identifying Food Insecurity

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Waste Not OC Coalition works collaboratively with hospitals, food banks,municipalities, the food industry and the waste hauling industry to reduce hunger and food waste by safely and cost effectively recovering unwanted wholesome food for distribution to local pantries serving those in our community facing food insecurity.

Background Statement

Formed in November 2012, Waste Not OC Coalition (WNOC) was conceived from a question posed by the Orange County Public Health Officer, Dr. Eric Handler, to Mark Lowry, Director of the Orange County Food Bank: “if we were able to capture food that is wasted and direct it to people in need, could we end hunger in Orange County?” to which Lowry replied with a simple, “yes.” This conversation developed into a brainstorming of ideas to eliminate food insecurity in the county which lead to the shared creation of Waste Not OC. Waste Not OC brought together both county food banks along with representatives from the Food Industry to determine if recovered food could be directed to help end hunger. Ultimately the cities of Anaheim and Orange were chosen for a pilot project. Waste Not OC has now grown with every city in Orange County participating. 

Impact Statement

WNOC is a public-private partnership formed with the goal of eliminating hunger and reducing food waste by facilitating the donation of wholesome surplus food from permitted food facilities to local pantries. The overall vision of the coalition is to end hunger in Orange County using a three-step approach:

1.      Redirecting unwanted wholesome food to local pantries

2.     Identifying those suffering from food insecurity

Connecting those individuals to sources of food

Needs Statement

Our most immediate need right now is the development of the ‘Food Recovery Kitchen’ concept in which we work with existing food production facilities providing them with the technology, food science equipment and procedures needed to efficiently and cost effectively convert tons of donated food into healthy and nutritious packaged meals (rapid chilled or frozen to extend shelf life) transported to food pantries throughout Orange County.  The ‘recovery kitchen’ network will also provide culinary skills training for at risk teens, veterans and other organizations such as Wayfinders, Catholic Charities, the VA and others.  We provide training program oversight, standardized policies, procedures and accurate data collection for all the facilities  serving as a ‘Food Recovery Kitchens’ as well as the logistical support needed to move product from donor to recipient.

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer


Geographic Area Served

North Orange County
Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
Waste Not OC serves the need all over Orange County. We work with each city and their Public Works Dept., Building and Planning Dept, Parks and Rec., School Districts as well as their contract waste haulers, food service operators and the Orange County Health Care Agency inspectors throughout Orange County. 

Organization Categories

  1. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition - Food Banks, Food Pantries
  2. Environment - Recycling
  3. Health Care - Public Health



Food Recovery Kitchen

Our food recovery program successfully demonstrated the financial benefits associated with food donation encourages food waste generators to donate edible food.  Unfortunately, this donated food is forwarded to non-profit food pantries throughout Orange County most of which operate with volunteers and lack both adequate equipment and culinary skill to reduce food waste in their facilities.  To keep donated food from being wasted at the pantry level, we developed the ‘Food Recovery Kitchen’ concept in which bulk recovered food is sent to a network of existing food production facilities scattered geographically around the county.  At these locations, large scale food donations are repurposed or repackaged into a nutritious meal with additional shelf life giving the pantry more time to serve the food and dramatically reducing food waste at the pantry level.
Budget  380,000
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Meal Distribution
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults Homeless
Program Short-Term Success 
  1. Expand the number of Food recovery kitchens operating in Orange County.
Program Long-Term Success 
  1. We greatly reduce the waste of donated food at the pantry level by providing nutritious ready to eat meals.
  2. Increase shelf life on donated food giving pantries more time to distribute food.
  3. Train individuals looking to enter the work force with the culinary skills training required to find employment in a commercial kitchen
Program Success Monitored By 
  1. Our use of technology to safely track food through the supply chain also tracks the amount of food recovered, repurposed and distributed to pantries.  Waste Hauling firms and cities track the amount of food waste generated by the non-profit pantries.
  2. Number of students completing the culinary skills program and the success rate of those students hired.
Examples of Program Success  The Waste Not OC Recovery Kitchen Model has proven to be successful. For example, a local pantry received a large donation of produce and whole chickens from a food manufacturer and had no idea how to store and distribute these items effectively. The whole chickens and amount of produce would not fit in the limited freezer/refrigeration space. Waste Not OC and the training culinary students re purposed the whole chickens and produce into a chicken soup, blast chilled and repackaged the soup into family packs. This food was then given back to the pantry, who could now choose to either serve the soup as a hot meal to those in need or give the pack sized soups out in a grocery style. They could freeze the product, extending its shelf life and none of this product was wasted. This is an example of what the recovery kitchen do on a daily basis, teaching students culinary skills while providing pantries with food they can effectively and easily give to the food insecure they serve.

Food Recovery Model

  • The first county in the country to use health department inspectors to educate permitted food establishments about the liability protections provided by the Bill Emerson Federal Good Samaritan Act. 
  • Utilizes food industry sales professionals to further advocate for food donation of wholesome, nutritious excess food.
  • Uses technology to track both the pick up/delivery times of recovered food as well as the temperature of the food insuring the food safety. 
  • Utilize Food Industry logistical assets to transport available food from donor to recipient.
  • Developed a food safety training course (FRESH) specific to food recovery in order to adequately train volunteers and pantry staff in safe food handling.
Budget  $500,000.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food Distribution
Population Served Homeless Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success 
  1. inform and educate food service operators on the cost benefits associated with donating excess edible food.
  2. Informing and educating food service operators about the food waste diversion requirements in their city in order to comply with state law.
  3. Increase the number of food service operators participating in food recovery.
  4. A reduction of the amount of excess food generated in a food service establishment resulting in participation in food recovery efforts and the operational changes that an establishment can make as a result of tracking food donation.
  5. Grow the Waste Not OC Model, bringing everyone together to end hunger and reduce food waste
Program Long-Term Success 
  1. End Hunger in Orange County by providing the resources area food pantries and food distributing centers have the resources they need to food those who suffer from food insecurity.
  2. Reduce food waste by encouraging food service operators to donate their excess wholesome food and keeping it out of the area landfills.
Program Success Monitored By 
  1. Technology tracks the number of food service operators contacted, the amount of donors participating, the amount of food recovered (donated).
Examples of Program Success  In 2016, Waste Not OC recovered 5.6 million pounds of wholesome food. In 2017 we were able to increase the number of pounds to 14.4 million, equating to about 12 million meals served to those suffering from food insecurity. Over 80,000 individuals have been screened fr food insecurity and 12,000 have been referred to local pantries. Waste Not OC is a coalition and believe that partnerships and collaboration is the key to accomplishing the goals of ending hunger and reducing food waste in Orange County. 

Identifying Food Insecurity

  1. Waste Not OC provides local hospitals and medical care providers with two simple screening questions to identify those among us who are suffering from food insecurity. These questions are now being asked at all Kaiser medical centers, CHOC hospital, the 15 county family resource centers, Altamed and Global medical centers.
  2. We developed a ‘google map’ showing each food pantry in Orange County, their operating hours, type of food service (hot food or pantry/grocery) and restrictions/requirements. This map provided medical care providers with a form of action for patients positively screened for food insecurity.
Budget  4,000
Category  Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Other Health/Disability Adults Families
Program Short-Term Success 
  1. An Increase in the number of patients screened for food insecurity.
  2. The Waste Not OC pantry map becomes a ready reference for medical care providers throughout the county.
Program Long-Term Success 
  1. Widespread food insecurity screening throughout Orange County.
  2. Anyone suffering from food insecurity will be screened by a medical care provider prior to becoming symptomatic.
  3. The county and it's residents will greatly reduce the costs associated with treating the health effects of food insecurity through early detection and treatment in the form of nutritious food
Program Success Monitored By 
  1. Medical care providers track and report the number of patients screened and the number of patients referred to area pantries on the advice of their provider.
  2. Non-profit food pantries track how many new clients receiving food were directed to the pantry on advice of their medical care provider.
Examples of Program Success  More and more healthcare providers are seeing the benefits of asking the food insecurity screening questions. The American Academy of Pediatrics has now adopted the two screening questions as part of their toolkit to end childhood hunger. Kaiser Permanente has started piloting their food insecurity screening program and we expect to be able to identify more of those suffering from food insecurity the help they need.


CEO/Executive Director Mike Learakos
CEO Term Start --
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Mike Learakos is a Foodservice professional with over 30 years of industry experience. In addition to his role as the President & co-founder of TJM, Inc. a broad spectrum food service company formed in 1993 which operates Katella Grill & Catering in Orange, Ca., Mr. Learakos also has a long history as a sales and marketing manager representing foodservice manufacturers, processors, facility designers and distributors.

In 2014, Mr. Learakos volunteered to head the Waste Not OC Food Recovery Pilot program becoming the full time Executive Director of Waste Not OC in September of 2016. As Executive Director of Waste Not OC, Mr. Learakos directs this public/private effort to end hunger and reduce food waste by working with healthcare providers, the foodservice industry, municipalities and waste haulers to identify and assist people suffering from food insecurity and to recover wholesome food destined for landfills and direct it to area food pantries serving those most in need.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
United Way Member Agency 2016

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


OC Health Care Agency – The OC Health Department is an advocate for food recovery and provides funding for the WNOC program. In addition, OCHCA inspectors educate food operators about food donation following routine site inspections.Food Banks – This includes Second Harvest and the OC Food Bank. Both food banks work together to identify where wholesome food is available and distribute it to pantries.Food Industry – The food industry donates their excess wholesome food. Foodservice Distributors use their sales representatives to inform their customers about the advantages of food recovery.Environmental Services – Environmental services have a big part in our sustainability. Waste hauling firms are working with WNOC to minimize the amount of organic food waste that goes into area landfills.Health Care Providers –Healthcare providers such as CHOC and Kaiser donate food and screen patients suspected of suffering from food insecurity. In addition, the 15 OC resource centers are also asking the two screening questions. Food Pantries –There are over 200 food pantries in OC. WNOC provides a list of pantries using a Google map on Those in need of food can call 2-1-1 for information including pantry location, hours, contact information and eligibility.


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 2
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? --
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Larry Sallinger
Board Chair Company Affiliation N/A
Board Chair Term -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Bryan Allred Sysco Los Angeles Voting
Dr. Al Baroudi Cheesecake Factory Inc. Voting
Anthony Boger -- Voting
Joe Bonafede Fieldsource Voting
Supervisor Andrew Do -- --
Manuel Gonzalez Gonzalez' Northgate Markets Voting
Dr. Eric Handler Waste Not OC Voting
Jason Hatcher Second Harvest Food Bank Voting
Frank Hathaway Retired Voting
Scott Kleckner SBE Voting
Mike Learakos TJM, Inc. & Waste Not OC Voting
Mark Lowry Orange County Food Bank Voting
Larry Sallinger Retired Voting
Jeff Snow Republic Services Voting
Jonathan Stone Sababa Beverages LLC Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 0
Male: 14
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 0
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 98%
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions --
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $302,830.00
Projected Expenses $296,930.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

Audit Documents

2018 Financial Statements

2017 Financial Statements

2016 Financial Statements

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $482,248 $225,686 $50,030
Total Expenses $441,548 $73,450 $50,030

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$37,500 $50,000 $30,000
Government Contributions $98,000 $30,000 $20,000
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $98,000 $30,000 $20,000
Individual Contributions -- $145,486 --
Indirect Public Support $5,550 -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- $200 $30
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $188,962 -- --
Other $152,236 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $294,043 $39,073 $22,214
Administration Expense $147,505 $34,377 $27,816
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.09 3.07 1.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses 67% 53% 44%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $40,700 $152,236 --
Current Assets -- -- --
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets $40,700 $152,236 --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities nan nan nan

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% nan%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? --
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.