Category Archives: Blog

Famine To Feast Announces New Android App

FTF News:
Famine to Feast has announced its new Android app. The app is available in the Google Play Store.
Famine to Feast thanks its donors and Bryte Studio out of Albuquerque for helping to make the app a reality.

Famine To Feast Volunteers Aid Cajete Fire Effort

Famine to Feast News:

Fire Chief Lee Taylor shakes hands with Famine to Feast co-founder Jaret McDonald and thanks all the volunteers for their efforts to collect supplies for the firefighters working the Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez. Anyone interested in helping with the effort should call Los Alamos Police Dispatch at 505.662.8222. Courtesy photo

Famine to Feast volunteers drove two pickup trucks filled with supplies Sunday to a base camp and a few other areas where firefighters were staged in the Jemez fighting the Cajete Fire.
Famine to Feast Co-founder Jaret McDonald said the folks from Los Alamos have once again made a huge difference.
“The donations are sitting now ready for distribution for our firefighters,” he said. “We want to thank all of the citizens of Los Alamos, Los Alamos National Bank, Metzger’s, Ruby K’s, Smiths (both Los Alamos and White Rock), High Mesa Dental and so many others and a special thanks to our volunteers, Jen, Tonya, Amanda, Paul and Karen.”

Anyone interested in helping with the effort should call the Los Alamos Police Dispatch Center at 505.662.8222.

Los Alamos helped the helpers as fire raged

By Tris DeRoma – Los Alamos Monitor

Local charity Famine to Feast made good on their promise Sunday, delivering 2,000 pounds of snacks, water and toiletries donated by Los Alamos residents and businesses to firefighters still battling the El Cajete Fire in the Jemez Mountains. As soon as the fire started Thursday, Famine to Feast started a donation drive where residents and businesses quickly started donating.

Famine to Feast workers Jaret McDonald, middle, and Karen McHugh stack some water while La Cueva Fire Department volunteer Wyatt Taylor waits to stack some snacks. Los Alamos residents and businesses donated 2,000 pounds of food, water and toiletries to those on the front line fighting the fire.

Tris DeRoma
Famine to Feast workers Jaret McDonald, middle, and Karen McHugh stack some water while La Cueva Fire Department volunteer Wyatt Taylor waits to stack some snacks. Los Alamos residents and businesses donated 2,000 pounds of food, water and toiletries to those on the front line fighting the fire.Previous

Two pickup trucks loaded with supplies stopped in at the La Cueva Volunteer Fire Department to drop everything off Sunday morning.

La Cueva Chief Lee Taylor welcomed the donations from Los Alamos, saying it was more than enough.

“With this quantity, we’ll share it with the other fire departments in the area,” Taylor said. “It’s obviously more than we’ll need for this incident, but we will use it for future incidents. We have lots of search and rescues we do, more fires, it will definitely be a benefit to the firefighters and the rescuers.”

The supplies will be distributed as needed to the firefighters this weekend. Helping Famine To Feast with their efforts was Smith’s, Los Alamos National Bank, Ruby K’s, Metzger’s and High Mesa Dental and Los Alamos Medical Center.

Famine to Feast founder Jaret McDonald was glad the donations they gathered from Los Alamos on such short notice will be put to good use.

“As designed, as expected,” McDonald said. “The generosity of Los Alamos has been amazing…. It’s generosity has once again made a huge difference.”

“A lot of the time, the water is from storage, since they have to have these things for early fire season. The water we brought was a huge deal, because it’s fresh,” McDonald said.

Ruby K’s donated bagels, and some went to the Jemez Mountain Baptist Church, which was used as an evacuation and communication center at the fire’s peak.

“In my mind, that’s what we ought to be about,” Jemez Mountain Baptist Church Pastor Eric Larson said. “Yes, we’re going to have our Sunday morning service just like we did this Sunday morning, but we’re also here as a resource for our community.”

The fire actually started right across NM 4 from the Larson’s house. Yet, when Eric’s wife, Debra, who is also a receptionist for Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus, got the news, she had no choice but go to the church and begin helping the displaced. She said there wasn’t any time to think about their house.

“We’ve been through so many of these, that we’ve prepared enough to scan the pictures, all the documents are in the safe deposit box, so, if (the house) goes, it goes,” Debra said. “As long as life is preserved, we’re good.”

On Thursday, when the fire started, Larson first heard about it through her neighbor, who managed to save the Larson’s pets

While things are winding down now, Eric Larson was happy to open the doors of the church to the community when it most needed it. Larson, who is also an employee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, built and founded the church 10 years ago. It was also designed for these types of situations. It was built with bathrooms, showers and a washer and dryer. The church help out during the Las Conchas and Thompson Ridge Fires.

“If we had to, if we’re doing what we’re doing now, we can take care of people,” Larson said.

He and his family became evacuees Friday morning. For the past week, people have been dropping off food, water, anything the evacuees needed. Besides the evacuees, the church was handing out food and water to the firefighters too.

“The last thing I need is the guy that’s defending my house to be hungry,” Larson said.

Thursday night, the church had 10 people spend the night, Friday night 17, and last night, 14.

“The outpouring from the community has been unbelievable. We have not had a need for anything,” Larson said. “People would call and say ‘I’m at Costco. What do you need.’”

The fire became a “Type One” fire yesterday, meaning the federal government can pull in as many resources as it wants as far as food, drinking water and other resources are concerned.  The 1300 acre fire is now 80 percent contained.

Another Reason To Love LA

By JARET and JEN MCDONALD

Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you to Los Alamos National Security for providing the LANL Employee Giving Campaign.

We received just shy by a couple of bucks to pay for an Android app for Famine to Feast.

To the individuals who individually donated … you are amazing! If you didn’t hear it before, THANKS!!!! You really are helping other people with your donations.

An Android app is on the way and will be available for download by Friday, May 26. www.faminetofeastnow.org.

Juvenile Justice Advisory Board Meets May 17

JJAB News:
The next meeting of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB) meets at 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 17 in Building #1, Camino Entrada Road, Pajarito Cliffs Site.
Jaret McDonald will be presenting a talk on his nonprofit organization, Famine to Feast.
 The public is welcome to attend.

LA couple ready to expand ‘Famine to Feast’

By Tris DeRoma (LA Monitor)
When the Famine to Feast entity first started out, it was all about directly getting food to the people that needed it the most. Through the organization’s website and app, residents arranged to have unused food they don’t need to be delivered to the people that do.
The organization has since expanded on that idea to include clothing, toiletries and other household items.
Local couple Jaret and Jen McDonald started Famine to Feast about a year ago after they realized they were going to have to throw away much of the unused food they bought while on a vacation.
With no time to drop it off at a food bank before leaving, they thought there had to be a better way.
“We intended Famine to Feast as a person’s last stop,” Jaret McDonald said. “They were either going to throw out the food, or find somebody like us to come and get it.”
Now, a year later, they are ready to expand Famine to Feast to include other locations, and other items.
The McDonalds recently conducted presentations in Santa Fe, Austin, Texas and Los Angeles to get the word out about Famine to Feast and how people can use it to help their neighbors in need. It has not been hard to find volunteers in the cities they’ve visited to help get the word out.
“We started about a year ago, and our primary focus was food,” Jaret McDonald said. “Like all good things, it’s evolved and has become bigger.”
In Los Alamos, the McDonalds could not have progressed as much as they have without local volunteers to help get the word out and help in the picking up and dropping off of food and other items.
“We couldn’t do it by ourselves,” Jen said. “We literally couldn’t take on this idea without the help of other people.”
One of those volunteers is Tonya Sprouse-Mullins.
“I absolutely love being involved with Famine to Feast,” Sprouse-Mullins said. “Helping individuals who have fallen on hard times fills my heart with so much love.”
Sprouse-Mullins and other volunteers working with Famine to Feast helped in a March donation drive for a Compassion Through Action event in Española. Famine to Feast, through the website, the app and social media managed to collect numerous articles of clothing, toiletries, food and other items and deliver it to the Compassion Through Action event.
“At the last event in Española it was a simple ‘new to him’ t-shirt that made one man’s day. Knowing that one small act of kindness can positively impact someone’s life is very powerful.”
The McDonalds also think one of the reasons they’ve been so successful is the concept feeds into people’s desire to help people and their need to transfer the food to someone that needs it right away.
It’s become so popular, the Famine to Feast concept has had a positive impact on the environment.
“We figured that based on the weight of food, canned goods, clothing and other things, we have probably saved Los Alamos County anywhere from a third to a half of a semi truck load of items that would normally go into the landfill,” Jaret McDonald said.
The Famine to Feast App has also evolved. Through the app, people can receive post notifications on what the current needs are, find out where to drop food off make a cash donation, to the tax-exempt organization and order a pick up. The website also features a page where people can fill out and then print a receipt of their donation.
Donations mainly go toward advertising, marketing and other associated costs with getting the word out.
“Marketing is huge. If people don’t know about us, or more importantly, they don’t understand what we do, it can be a challenge,” Jaret McDonald said.
Plans for this year include strengthening their connections.
“We are looking forward to volunteers in the Española area who would like to sign on,”
Jaret McDonald said.
The McDonalds also look forward to further educating the public about what they’re about. That includes the measurable impact the service is having on the environment and the impact it has on the lives it helps.
“We are also in talks with the Environmental Sustainability Board about getting bins where residents can put things in that LA Cares might accept,” Jaret McDonald said. “We would come and pick it up and take it to LA Cares.”
Famine to Feast also submitted an federal application to become a go-between for organizations set up in a disaster area that need food and supplies.
Famine to Feast is an all volunteer, non profit organization.
“We are actually able to see the benefits of our labor,” Jaret McDonald said. “We have something that we can truly help people with. We aren’t just doing this little tiny bit where we don’t see the end result. This food is going to people who need it, these clothes are going to people who need it.”

Famine To Feast Partners With California NPO Compassion Through Action

by Carol A. Clark
Famine to Feast is joining forces April 1 with the California NPO “Compassion Through Action”. Founder Jeff Padilla, is in the process of expanding his organization to New Mexico and is sponsoring an event the YMCA, 808 Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Espanola.

The goal is to make 100 sack lunches and toiletry bags to be distributed at the event. The following is a list of NEW items that Famine to Feast would like your help to provide:

  • 100 each of lotion, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, lip balm, tweezers, athletic socks, and shaving cream; and
  • Gently used Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s clothing

Items can be dropped off at 112 Azure Dr. or 133 La Senda Road, or use the Famine to Feast app or web page and representatives will gladly pick up donated items.

Donations will be accepted until March 29.

Famine to Feast is very excited to work with Compassion Through Action because of its similar mission to help those in need. For more information about these non-profit organizations, visit compassionthougaction.org and faminetofeastnow.org. Thanks for the support!
http://www.ladailypost.com/content/famine-feast-partners-california-npo-compassion-through-action

Famine to Feast tours Interfaith Homeless Shelter

Yesterday we were able to meet with full-time volunteers, Joe and Sue, at the Santa Fe Interfaith Homeless Shelter serving the chronic homeless in Santa Fe and they are looking forward to Famine to Feast (F2F) coming to Santa Fe. We were taken aback by the magnitude of what goes into supporting and caring for the less fortunate. It is painful to see so many individuals hurting and needing assistance right in our back yard. F2F is near ready to spread the neighbor to neighbor giving outside of Los Alamos and is seeking volunteers in the Santa Fe area. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be meeting with the other homeless/domestic violence shelters in Santa Fe to ensure that F2F will be an effective complement to their organizations. Together we can help!

Famine to Feast Co-founders Pitch Food Bin Idea To Los Alamos County Environmental Sustainability Board

By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
Famine to Feast co-founder Jaret McDonald, center, presents an idea to the Los Alamos County Environmental Sustainability Board Dec. 15 to help cure local food insecurity and reduce food waste at the landfill. ScreenShot/LADP

During the Dec. 15 meeting of the Los Alamos County Environmental Sustainability Board, Jaret McDonald pitched an idea beneficial on two fronts: curing Los Alamos of food insecurity and reducing food waste at the landfill.

To accomplish these objectives, McDonald suggested the County purchase stackable bins to distribute to local residents. Residents could fill up the bins with food they wish to donate and contact McDonald’s nonprofit organization, Famine to Feast, to pick up and deliver the food to the pantries such as LA Cares.

“We calculated if every household contributed a half-pound of food a month we wouldn’t have food insecurity in Los Alamos,” McDonald said.

He added that the program also would minimize the amount of material being sent to the landfill. McDonald’s wife and Famine to Feast co-founder, Jen McDonald, pointed out that 40 percent of food goes to waste every year across the U.S. and Famine to Feast offers another option to dispose of unwanted food.

“We’re actually eliminating food waste in the trash,” McDonald said. “We’re making a difference in the landfill and in people’s behavior.”

The McDonald’s said they hope people who strongly support the bins will contact their county councilors and voice their support for the idea.

Famine to Feast officially kicked off Nov. 5. The 501 c(3) nonprofit organization offers a website and an app for people to donate food to local food pantries. The app is available through iTunes and the website is faminetofeastnow.org.

The way it works is simple: participants enter the food items they wish to donate on either the app or the website and provide their location. The food will be picked up, a tax donation receipt will be printed, and the food will be delivered to the pantries. There is a list on the website identifying what can and cannot be donated.

“We’re an instant food drive in Los Alamos,” McDonald told Environmental Sustainability Board members during the Dec. 15 meeting.

Having the bins will help Famine to Feast in its operations, he said, because it will be a constant reminder for residents to donate food. He added Famine to Feast has already experienced remarkable success.

“We’re really excited,” McDonald said regarding the amount of support the community has shown to the organization. “We have found every sort of amazing person out there.”

His wife added that several cities throughout the U.S. have reached out to them to bring Famine to Feast to their areas including Austin, Texas, Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles, Calif.

LAHS Key Club Hears Famine To Feast Presentation

http://www.ladailypost.com/content/lahs-key-club-hears-famine-feast-presentation
Submitted by Carol A. Clark

Famine to Feast is hosing a “Secret Santa” event through Christmas Day.

Community members are invited to donate a gift to a person or family in need. This can be done anonymously or with the donor’s identification attached.

Many people know of someone less fortunate and in need of used winter clothes, holiday ornaments and more, or perhaps just want to give this holiday season but don’t know who go give to. Famine to Feast can help. The nonprofit organozation is performing “Secret Santa” activities through Dec. 25.

“We are completely amazed by the items that have already been donated and thank the community for the food, warm clothing, blankets and cash donations,” co-founder Jaret McDonald said.

Famine to Feast welcomes suggestions of local people in need of items at www.faminetofeastnow.org