About Us

Our Mission

Second Helpings Atlanta is a nonprofit food rescue organization whose mission is to reduce hunger and food waste in the Metro Atlanta area by rescuing healthy, nutritious, surplus food and distributing it to those in need.  With a community of over 300 volunteers, SHA serves as the link between our network of food donors and partner agencies who feed the hungry on a daily basis.  The food we rescue every day gets diverted from landfills and is used to feed those in need, making Atlanta a more environmentally responsible metropolitan area.

Our Programs

Second Helpings Atlanta offers a variety of programs and ways individuals and organizations can get involved to support our mission.

01
90 minute model

90-Minute Model

If you’re looking for a high-impact volunteer experience with a relatively low impact on your schedule, donate 90 minutes every month by becoming a SHA volunteer.

Volunteer

Second Helpings Atlanta volunteers use their own vehicles to rescue healthy, surplus food from one of our food donors, transport and deliver it to a nearby partner agency and return home in 90 minutes or less. This provides a high impact volunteer experience that makes a meaningful difference in our community while having a low impact on our volunteers’ busy schedules.

Program Details:

  • Fixed Schedule Routes: Sign up for a route that happens the same day and time every month.
  • Flexible Schedule Routes: If you need more flexibility, join a driving team that lets you select the frequency of your scheduled food rescues.
  • Substitute Driver: Sign up to be a substitute driver for routes that don’t have a full driving team in place.
  • Truck Driver: Get trained to drive our small refrigerated truck to pick up and deliver larger food donations.
  • Truck Leader: Work alongside one of our truck drivers to lend a hand for our larger food rescues.
02
Full Plate Project Icon

Full Plate Project

Our Full Plate Project focuses on providing complete and nutritionally dense meals for families. Whether the meals are fully prepared or delivered as kits for families to cook in their homes, high-quality food is thoughtfully assembled and delivered to our neighbors across Atlanta.

Support Volunteer

Through the Full Plate Project, SHA delivers complete meals for families. Whether the meals are fully prepared or delivered as kits for families to cook in their homes, the high-quality food is thoughtfully assembled and delivered.

Program Details:

  • Meals with Meaning: HelloFresh designs family-friendly recipe kits that are packed by SHA volunteers and delivered to families the same afternoon. Every Wednesday at our warehouse, SHA volunteers pack 2,000 ready-to-make recipe meals kits that allow 8,000 meals to hit dinner tables that same day.
  • Prepared Meals: SHA partners with restaurants and catering companies that prepare ready-to-eat meals that we distribute and are greatly appreciated by our partner agencies.
03
corporate engagement program

Corporate Engagement

SHA offers companies multiple ways to get their employees engaged to support our mission through skills-based volunteer opportunities and the rescue of surplus food, either from their own facility or a from a nearby food donor and community service projects.

Connect

Second Helpings Atlanta partners with companies that have a passion for serving their communities and provides a variety of ways to get their employees engaged in supporting SHA’s food rescue mission. This program allows for a stronger connection between our corporate partners, our organization and the community.

Program Details:

  • On Campus Presentations: Employees get facts about hunger, food waste, and the impact on the environment, and they learn how they can make a difference.
  • Adopt a Route: Employees can rescue food on SHA’s behalf.
  • Food Donations: Surplus food from the company’s employee dining hall can be rescued and delivered by employees or SHA volunteers.
  • Community Service Projects: Employees can participate in large group projects that support SHA’s food rescue mission, like assembling bags of nonperishable foods and delivering them to a partner agency.
  • Skills-based Volunteering: Invites employees to share their expertise to support SHA’s marketing, finance, technology and fundraising initiatives.
04
food for thought

Food For Thought

This program helps educate students about the issues of hunger and food waste and provides a menu of ways schools can get involved and  make a meaningful difference in their communities.

Learn More

Our Food For Thought program is focused on recruiting the next generation of volunteers to fight hunger and reduce food waste in metro Atlanta, offering students of all ages the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. We educate students about hunger and food waste, encourage students to take action to move the needle on hunger and food waste in our community, and engage students, parents and teachers by providing meaningful volunteer opportunities.

Program Details:

  • On Campus Presentations: Students get the facts about hunger, food waste, the environmental impact of wasted food and how they can get involved.
  • Adopt a Route: students and parents can rescue food on SHA’s behalf.
  • Food Donations: Surplus food from the school’s cafeteria can be rescued and delivered by students and parents.
  • Community Service Projects: the entire school can participate in large group projects that support SHA’s food rescue mission, like assembling bags of nonperishable foods and delivering them to one of our partner agencies.

Meals With Meaning

Our Meals with Meaning program provides 2000 meal kits to Atlantans-in-need every week through partnerships with HelloFresh, Pratt Industries, Atlanta City Council, and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Each kit contains recipe cards, ingredients, and a bag of fresh fruit.

Our Staff

Paul Clements
Executive Director

Paul Clements has spent his career working to feed the hungry. The roots of that passion reach back to his childhood in rural, Alabama, where Paul would help his mother collect fruit from a local farm stand at Thanksgiving and distribute it to those in need. Though Paul was never food insecure, he was aware that his father’s big vegetable garden, and his mom’s carefully planned menus, were an effort to reduce the cost of feeding a family of modest means.

After graduating from the University of South Alabama with degrees in business and public relations, Paul gained valuable experience with two Florida-based hunger-related agencies. At Second Harvest of the Big Bend and Feeding the Gulf Coast, his duties ranged from fundraising and marketing, to operating a multi-location food bank. Paul established strategic partnerships and processes that dramatically expanded the scope and impact of both nonprofits.

Before joining Second Helpings Atlanta, Paul served Whole Foods Market for 10 years as Corporate Citizenship Manager, helping to advance the retailer’s role as a community partner across the U.S. and Canada. As well, he created and launched Nourishing Our Neighborhoods, a global initiative that helped divert nearly 30 million pounds of nutritious food from landfills and provide
millions of nutritious meals.

Those skills, plus past service on the Second Helpings Atlanta board, helped prepare Paul for assuming leadership of SHA in July 2023. He was especially motivated by the volunteers and staff who partner to rescue and deliver more than four million pounds of donated food each year. Says Paul, “Their passion and eagerness to rescue even more food, feed even more families, is a contagious energy I wish everyone could experience.”

Paul and his partner Cameron enjoy spending time with their dogs Olive and rumor. He loves a good hike and relaxes—and learns some fun new skills—by scrolling TikTok.

“Food brings people closer. I picture a family enjoying a nice meal together, keeping nutritious food out of the landfill and forgetting, even briefly, all that’s wrong in the world and in their lives.”

~ Paul Clements

Quentin Burke
Technology & Data Coordinator

For as long as he can remember, Quentin has always been a jack of all trades; but his passion for programming and technology set a precedent and have now become his full time career. From the days of playing video games with his cousins and his brother, to now becoming the Data and Technology Coordinator for Second Helpings; Quentin has had quite the journey to get to where he is.

A Covington, GA native, Quentin began the first stage of his life in Newton High School. After graduation, Quentin decided to attend Fort Valley State University, where he majored in Computer Science. He knew way before college that this is what he wanted to do, and Fort Valley just further reinforced his passion for computer programming and technological strategy and implementation.

Those who know Quentin would describe him as a results-driven software engineer with a proven track record in distribution and nonprofit industries designing and developing innovative software solutions. He is proficient in various programming languages, software development methodologies, and cutting-edge technologies. As well as skilled in creating efficient and scalable applications that meet business needs. 

He is excited to work with Second Helpings as it offers him the opportunity to create positive change in Georgia; his home for the past 28 years. He believes the prospect of collaborating with a team of like-minded individuals to improve our state is truly worth getting excited for.

Quentin enjoys playing video games, traveling with his wife Katelyn, and snuggling up with his dogs Oreo and Moon.

Camille Watwood
Volunteer & Food Network Coordinator

Originally from Texas; Camille earned her degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in theater production and design. She then proceeded to get her masters degree in nonprofit management from Our lady of the Lake University. Although acting is still a passion Camille continues to pursue, non profit work is another passion she excels in.

Her background in the private and non profit sector began in the healthcare industry and extended over the span of 9 years. She has held the title of volunteer manager for several organizations. One of those organizations was the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, where she focused her energy on youth and school program management. She also served as program and engagement manager for the M.S society and even contributed to the Heart Walk team at the American Heart Association.

Camille’s background makes her the perfect fit to becoming Second Helpings Volunteer and Food Network Coordinator. She prides herself in developing connections with food donors, individual and corporate volunteers, and loves to work alongside the team to coordinate new and existing food rescue routes. She hopes the energy she transmits can be passed unto our volunteers in order to drive engagement and grow our network.

On her off days, you might see her with her husband Shawn or their American pit terrier, Oliver. Camille is a roller derby and a performing arts enthusiast who loves to bring new energy into any room she steps foot in.

Patrick Hedden
Operations & Communications Coordinator

Patrick Hedden is one of those people who is happiest and most productive when pursuing several projects at once. The opportunity to professionally multi-task is one of the attractions that led to his position as Communications & Operations Coordinator for Second Helpings Atlanta. His background and experience fit the needs of the dual role to a tee. 

Patrick first learned about SHA while serving as a sustainability officer on an Atlanta-based film set where his duties including educating the crew on recycling and composting. His first role was driving the 26-foot refrigerated box truck and van, safely transporting thousands of pounds of donated food daily. He previously worked in the food service industry as a restaurant manager, trainer and barista. As well, Patrick has achieved skill and experience in communications. The Roswell native attended Georgia Perimeter College and Arizona State University, where he majored in mass communications and media studies. 

Patrick manages the Second Helpings Atlanta fleet and warehouse equipment, as well as planning and implementing social media content that helps tell the nonprofit’s story to the community. Seeing the impact of SHA food rescue initiatives from these two vantage points is the most gratifying part of his job. Patrick and his wife share their home with an aging-cat named Vincent. In his spare time, Patrick enjoys reading and creating artwork.  

 “I was drawn to the SHA model of feeding those in need by rescuing fresh food that would otherwise go to waste, serving people with dignity and respect.” 

~ Patrick Hedden

Kwabena Nkromo
Operations Coordinator

Working to find big solutions to big problems might be daunting to some. But not to food activist and urban farmer Kwabena Nkromo. The Boston native brings extensive experience in food systems planning and social change to his role as Second Helpings Atlanta Operations Coordinator. 

Kwabena studied plant and soil sciences at Tuskegee University, and agricultural economics at Clemson. His work experience reflects that lifelong commitment to helping individuals and communities develop solutions to food challenges. That includes partnering with housing authorities on increasing food access, and teaching individuals to create backyard market farms. A food blogger, Kwabena is also the founder of a social enterprise consulting firm.

At Second Helpings Atlanta, he helps to plan and execute several of the organization’s largest food collection and distribution events. Among these is Meals with Meaning, where teams of volunteers gather weekly to pack 2,000 meals with fresh, donated ingredients. 

As part of the SHA team, Kwabena appreciates collaborating with others who are “laser-focused on their core mission.” He adds, “We have an excellent solution around ending food waste while attacking hunger. I’m so happy to be part of this journey, including the challenges involved in scaling operations while staying true to our roots.” Married and the father of five, Kwabena believes in the culture and power of food to bring people together.

 “I love to cook and, like many other parents, I’m always looking for ways to sneak vegetables into the mac ‘n cheese. My kids especially like my roasted bok choy!” 

~ Kwabena Nkromo

Sam Shells
Food Rescue Driver
Amber Higgenbottom
Development Manager

A Tennessee native hailing from the vibrant city of Memphis, Amber  brings a wealth of experience  and a passion for community service to our organization. Amber  is a proud graduate of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), where they studied business management and marketing, laying the foundation for their successful career in the event industry and the nonprofit sector.

With a background in event management, Amber  possesses invaluable skills in operations, logistics, and design, allowing them to curate unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impact on attendees. Their belief in the power of collective movements and the importance of prevention through nutrition and lifestyle changes was honed during their tenure at the American Cancer Society.

As our Development Manager, Amber is dedicated to acquiring the necessary resources to enable Second Helpings Atlanta to expand its operations. Amber excels in stewarding and cultivating genuine relationships with supporters of our mission, while also developing strategies for future growth.

Outside of work, Amber finds joy in the character and charm of Decatur, Georgia, where she resides. She cherishes spending time with family, particularly her sister, and embraces the beauty of nature through hiking, gardening, and spontaneous road trips. An avid supporter of the arts, Amber enjoys exploring art galleries and expressing her creativity as a freelance floral designer.

Jon McMurdo
Development Specialist

Jon knew he wanted to make philanthropic work his full time job from the moment he started volunteering with his mom at the local children’s centers. From a fairly young age, Jon has been surrounded by a framework of stewardship and service and he continues to hold these values true in his adult life. 

Originally from Cartersville, GA, his love for philanthropy began by delivering meals to a local youth shelter, Advocates for Children. He later interned at the same non-profit as a part of the development team. He obtained his bachelor of science in sociology with a focus in social organization from Kennesaw State University, where he also served on the executive board of Kennesaw Pride Alliance.

After an internship with Advocates for Children, and graduating from Kennesaw State University, Jon started his non-profit career with the Georgia Alliance for Breast Cancer as the organization’s Development Coordinator. With GAABC, Jon developed and implemented fundraising strategies for the Georgia 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer, managed fundraising elements for the organization’s annual Giving Gala, and managed relationships with a portfolio of donors with a mission-first relationship development strategy. 

Jon is Second Helping Atlanta’s Development Specialist. To Jon, this means being able to connect supporters of the organization even closer to the mission in a fulfilling, productive way. To Jon, fundraising is about developing real relationships – not a yearly email with an ask. Strengthening connections through Atlanta and its metro to help make sure each of our neighbors have a meal they can eat with dignity.

Jon loves to cook, bake bread, try new food spots with his partner, cuddle up with his cat Jones (if he is in a good mood that day); all while simultaneously maintaining the “cool uncle” title with his nieces and nephews.

Raquel Machuca
Marketing & Administrative Specialist

Raquel Machuca’s passion for social causes and food insecurity have been a part of her life from the moment she was born. Coming from a family of lawyers and doctors, Raquel was no stranger to helping others. From a very young age, this stewardship and volunteering model has been engrained and reinforced through community involvement and volunteering in her hometown of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Raquel’s roots are deeply rooted to her culture and her hometown of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, but Atlanta is where she calls home. With a degree in Marketing and Advertising from the University of Georgia; Raquel hopes to bring a bit of cultural flair to every organization she steps foot in and is proud to use her skillset to be a voice for organizations big and small.

Coming from a third world country has allowed Raquel to see food scarcity and food waste first hand. Whether it be kids on the street selling flowers or knick knacks to be able to afford their next meal; the realities of food access and its scarcity are real and universal. From volunteering at the Honduran division of the Red Cross, The League Against Cancer, nursing homes and children’s orphanages; Raquel and her family have always seen the value in helping others. It wasn’t until her time at the Latin American Organization that Raquel was able to see the impact of her work, and learned that doing right by others could be a job-and a fun one on that.

As Second Helpings Marketing and Admin Specialist, you will find Raquel working the line, gathering content for socials, bugging her fellow coworkers for a photo op, building relationships with donors and volunteers; and most importantly assisting the executive director with any administrative tasks that he needs taken off his plate.

In her personal life you will see her trying new food spots with her friends or her wife, Stephanie that they saw on tik tok. She is also an avid painter, clay sculptor and lover of all things creative.

 

Our Board

Dan Sterling
Board President. Jabian Consulting
Bob Gallagher
Vice President. Gallagher Advisory Services
Anne Beckwith
Treasurer. Retired CPA & Real-Estate
Dorian Denburg
Secretary, AT&T

AT&T, Technology Operation

Gloria Kantor
ACG Atlanta and Southeast Region
Azizi Williams
Flock Safety
Bianca Frails
Corporate Environmental Risk Management
Bill Plybon
Coca Cola Enterprises
Christina Eberhardt
Oracle
Deep Kalina
Intuitio Labs
Eva Spahn
Greenberg Trauig, LLP
Jeff Handler
UPS Capital
Kenny Hill
Atlanta Community Food Bank
Rick Van Nostrand
Cornerstone Investment Partners
Tonya Raines
Chick-fil-A
 
In 2023, SHA rescued more than 5.2 million pounds of fresh nutritious food.

In 2023, SHA rescued more than 5.8 million pounds of fresh nutritious food.

Our History

Second Helpings Atlanta began as a social action project in 2004 at Temple Sinai Atlanta, organized and operated solely by congregants to tackle two issues: food waste and food insecurity. The vision was to create a vibrant community of food rescuers – neighbors helping neighbors – that would expand in scope and impact over time. For nine years, a small dedicated group of volunteers operated the organization, recruiting volunteer drivers, food donors and partner agencies, coordinating the routes, filling vacancies and ensuring that operations ran smoothly.

We grew steadily and ultimately became too large for the confines of a congregational project. In 2012, we became an independent nonprofit and Second Helpings was incorporated as Second Helpings Atlanta, Inc. (SHA). We then received our 501(c)(3) status in March 2011. Lastly, we hired our first Executive Director during the summer of 2015, and transitioned from being volunteer driven to a professionally led organization.

The resulting momentum has been historic. Since 2004, we have rescued over 26 million pounds of food; along the way incorporating several new programs into our operations and consistently rescuing over 450,000 pounds of food every month. 

In 2023, we distributed a record-breaking 5.8 million pounds of food – equivalent to more than 4.8 million meals. Of this amount, 5.2 million pounds was surplus food diverted from landfills.. In addition, we provided 400,000 prepared meals to our partner agencies through our Meals with Meaning program.

We recognize that a key to our success is offering a rich, rewarding volunteer experience that has a big impact in the community without having a big impact on people’s busy schedules. Our 90 Minute Model is the cornerstone of our operations, designed to allow our volunteers to leave their home or place of work, rescue food from a food donor, deliver it to a partner agency and return home or work in 90 minutes or less.

SHA continues to use the power of small actions to transform people’s lives.