The Share My Meals (SMM) story begins with the ingenuity and hard work of a group of Princeton residents. While volunteering at the local food pantry, co-founder Isabelle Lambotte saw first hand the challenge of food insecurity facing families as well as the limited options they had for prepared nutritious meals. Inspired by the work of a student in California working to reduce cafeteria waste, Isabelle and her co-founders developed a program where volunteers could recover prepared meals from corporations and deliver them to families in need. The program launched in January 2020.
That March the world changed. COVID hit and suddenly corporations were asking their employees to work from home, more families were in need of food, and restaurants were struggling to survive. SMM pivoted, taking advantage of New Jersey’s Sustain and Serve Program to buy meals at cost from local restaurants and provide them to families and seniors in need. SMM’s board and volunteers worked tirelessly to deliver 140,000 meals throughout the region.
As people began to return to work SMM was able to return to its original mission of recovering surplus meals, now known as our Meal Recovery Program (or MRP). Over the past year we have worked to develop and refine the MRP to dynamically recover meals from a variety of food donors and deliver those meals to households as well as community partners in the region.
We aspire to a world where everyone has access to healthy food and no food goes to waste.
Share My Meals fights both food insecurity and the environmental impact of food waste by recovering and delivering healthy meals in local communities.
Sharing: We engage volunteers and partners to rebalance the food equation.
Joy: We are driven by genuine happiness from our work and those we serve.
Caring: We foster respect towards all individuals and the protection of our planet.
Inclusion: We embrace one and all across our communities.
Innovation: We think out of the box, experiment, and learn from our experience.
Education: We raise awareness of the effects of food waste and food insecurity.
SMM is unique in that our program is mostly volunteer coordinated with only limited operational costs. 100% of our funds are used towards our sustainability efforts. Our Board of Directors are volunteers, and we operate with a very limited staff, currently five employees.
Most of the food distributions are done through our network of volunteer partner sites. We are truly a volunteer-driven charity with the focus of putting all dollars raised towards improving the lives within the communities we serve.