About Abound

Powering a National Movement

We are Abound Food Care. We believe in the beauty and value of food. And, that food care is the answer for feeding all of America, while protecting our environment and building healthier communities.

This is our life’s work: Powering a national movement that sustainably creates the new future of food — for people and planet.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

With this aspirational role in mind, these are the statements that guide our work each day:

Mission — We provide solutions and facilitate collaboration with public, private, and non-profit sectors to guide and support the implementation of regional food care programs that optimize the supply chain to end hunger and food waste.

Vision — A world in which hunger and food waste are eliminated.

Values

  • Food CareFood that passes through our hands, and those of our partners, is treated with respect and handled with care, so that it maintains its high intrinsic value and fulfills its intended purpose: to feed people. We educate and support other organizations and individuals how to do the same.
  • Impact – Every day we make decisions with an understanding of the short-term impact we have on people’s lives without losing sight of achieving our long-term goal of sparking a national movement that can take better care of our communities and planet.
  • Ingenuity – Solving the critical challenges we face requires a willingness to disrupt conventions of the past by considering new viewpoints, inspiring new ways of thinking, and creating new solutions that improve communities.
  • Connectivity – Our success is reliant on our ability to bring people together, both our own team and our partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. We rely on all participants, look for commonalities to break down silos, and utilize people’s strengths to fill gaps.
  • Empathy – In addressing hunger and food insecurity we find value in serving others while showing respect and understanding for everyone we encounter. We not only provide solutions we are advocates for others.
  • Passion – We love what we do, understand the importance of our mission, and are motivated by the enjoyment that comes from the results and impact. We work together through obstacles and celebrate our shared accomplishments along the way.
  • Accountability – Each one of us is responsible for our actions, effective use of time, and our results. We honor our commitments, both as a team and as individuals, with timely and quality deliverables. We are proactive with open and honest communications to those that are relying on us.

Our History

The Abound Food Care story began with a single word: “Yes.”

In 2012, a provocative question was posed by Dr. Eric Handler, then the Orange County (CA) Public Health Officer, who asked, “If we were able to capture food that is wasted, and direct it to people in need, could we end hunger in Orange County?” The reply from Mark Lowry, the Director of the Orange County Food Bank, was simply, “Yes.”

The two visionaries went on to form Waste Not OC Coalition — as Abound was then known — a nonprofit, public-private partnership focused on ending food insecurity by connecting local companies, agencies, and volunteers.

An organization — and the origins of a new, national model for food care — were born.

The Key Ingredients: Depth and Connectedness

We quickly learned that people and organizations naturally want to waste less food and feed more people. But there was no system in place to achieve those goals.

We also realized that, rather than specializing in just a few aspects of food care — for example, just food recovery, or food safety, logistics, data, health impact, environmental issues, or regulatory policies — we needed a deep and hands-on understanding of all these disciplines. And, that real success demanded a constant, collaborative relationship with all of the food-industry and healthcare players, and the ability to unite these partners with a single-minded purpose. This blend of depth and connectedness was, and is, the key ingredient to creating a successful food care ecosystem.

Food Care

Defining a New Category: Food Care

This holistic perspective also enabled us to define a new category in American industry: Food care is the active and passionate protection of food, its processes, cost, and impact. This definition encompasses our main goals — to help redirect excess edible food, combat hunger, and in the process, to send less organic waste to landfills and thus protect our environment.

Wasting Far Less – and Feeding Far More

We wholeheartedly applied ourselves, weaving more partners and capabilities into an increasingly efficient food supply chain. The Abound food care model was proving itself in Orange County — a large geographic area with an economically and culturally diverse population of more than three million.

Orange County 2020 Food Statistics

Widening Our Scope to Meet Demand

The success of Abound’s food care model has increasingly gained national attention — particularly as the issues of food waste, food insecurity, health and environmental impact, and regulatory compliance all continue to increase in urgency. We are poised to provide these regional solutions to a national problem by optimizing local resources that maximize food care efficiency.