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.
Second Helpings Atlanta offers a variety of programs and ways individuals and organizations can get involved to support our mission.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Andrea Jaron’s passion for helping others was apparent in childhood when she would hold neighborhood carnivals to raise money for charities. As an undergraduate, she volunteered for a suicide prevention organization and, during law school, donated her time at a Legal Aid clinic. “I’ve always felt like I wanted to make a difference,” she says.
Today, as Executive Director of Second Helpings Atlanta, Andrea is building on a successful career in service. She is inspired by the opportunity to create change by helping people think in new ways about food waste and its societal and environmental impact.
A native of Detroit, Andrea graduated from the University of Michigan and earned a law degree from Wayne State University. At organizations including Meals on Wheels Atlanta, the Weber School and the Anti-Defamation League, Andrea earned a reputation as one of Atlanta’s most effective and respected non-profit leaders.
Andrea and her husband are the parents of three adult children and a mini-Labradoodle. She is a student and teacher of yoga, and loves exercising, spending time outdoors, reading and watching movies.
“Knowing there are so many hungry and food-insecure people in our community keeps me motivated. There’s a great deal of work to be done and I’m honored to be part of the solution.”
~ Andrea Jaron
Those who knew Kim Soltero as a youngster would not be surprised to learn that she pursued a career in hunger relief. Kim, an Atlanta native, was a leader in social service activities as a high school student at Pace Academy. She studied sociology in college and, later, earned a culinary degree at Johnson and Wales University.
Her husband Gabe’s military career meant that the family, which grew to include three children, moved frequently. While they were stationed in Guam, Kim created a food-rescue program at the base commissary. Excess food that had previously been discarded was instead redirected to area food pantries.
After leaving Guam in 2016, the Solteros returned to Rhode Island where Kim worked at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and at a soup kitchen as event and volunteer coordinator. When they moved back to Atlanta in 2019, Kim became event manager at a local restaurant, but she missed the sense of mission she had experienced at nonprofits. “I decided to poke around and see what I could find.”
That quest led to Second Helpings Atlanta, where Kim became Food Network Coordinator in 2020. In her spare time, Kim loves cooking and pursuing craft projects with her youngest son, the only one of three boys still at home.
“As a trained chef, I’ve always hated the idea of food waste. Everybody in my family knows that if there’s a Tupperware with leftovers in the refrigerator, they need to eat that first!”
~ Kim Soltero
Katie Maxwell has interned and worked for some of the world’s leading companies, including GE and Delta Air Lines. But only now, as Second Helpings Atlanta’s new Operations and Data Manager, has Katie found what she calls her dream job. “It combines my background in technology and process, with my passion for sustainability.”
As a child, the Roswell native was always attracted to systems and technology. Over the years Katie has come to appreciate technology for its role in making lives easier. In her role at SHA, Katie works to optimize the effectiveness of SHA processes and systems. Ultimately, that means successfully running more routes and rescuing more food.\
She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgia Tech, including a Master of Sustainable & Environmental Management. Katie’s professional roles include IT leadership positions with GE Power & Water, and Technology Director for PeachDish, a farm-to-table meal kit company. At Second Helpings Atlanta, Katie is responsible for envisioning, designing and implementing a technical and operational strategy. That includes day-to-day oversight of operations, and management of the technology infrastructure. Katie values the small team environment at SHA and the chance to use technology to help build strong, sustainable communities.
Katie and her partner Justin Martin live in Adair park in southwest Atlanta with their rescue lab mix Chattahoochee. Her leisure time passions include exercising, urban exploring, gardening and checking out local farmers’ markets.
“What keeps me motivated is knowing that our hard work benefits people, the planet and the community by reducing hunger, eliminating food waste and connecting individuals.”
~ Katie Maxwell
Juliet Eden’s focus on food and community have followed her from curious child to SHA Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. An Atlanta native, Juliet first experienced the world of food and sustainability as a member of her elementary school’s cooking and gardening club. “It was my introduction to sustainable farming and urban agriculture,” she says.
Juliet’s involvement deepened at the University of Georgia where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Ecology, a minor in Geography and a Certificate of Sustainability. During her years in Athens, she volunteered with Campus Kitchen, a student-led food recovery organization.
Juliet’s education and interest led to a Farm Manager internship with Ponix, an Atlanta-based hydroponic farming business. She worked on recycling, energy and climate initiatives as an intern with the City of Decatur. As an intern with the City of Atlanta, Juliet helped establish “healthy corner stores” to supply food deserts with surplus produce rescued from Georgia farms.
At Second Helpings Atlanta, Juliet serves as the public face—and voice—of the organization through social and traditional media. She works with corporate and community partners to gain support for SHA’s mission of reducing hunger and food waste.
A passionate Georgia Bulldogs fan, Juliet is an avid practitioner of power yoga. Her household includes a one-year-old visually impaired cat who answers to the name “Tater.”
“I love Atlanta and the many organizations and change-makers who are improving systems and creating new ways to help our neighbors and communities.”
~ Juliet Eden
As Food Network and Volunteer Coordinator, HG Gruebmeyer facilitates the smooth transition of food among our network of volunteers, donors and partner agencies. A native of Hendersonville, North Carolina, HG brings valuable experience in restaurants, education and social justice work to his role.
At Emory University, HG earned degrees in fiction and poetry writing. As an advocate of the concept of “radical generosity,” he was drawn to the simple, yet powerful concept that drives SHA—surplus food is rescued from those who have it, and provided to those who need it.
Years in the restaurant business opened HG’s eyes to the problem of food waste and sparked his desire to address it. “What drew me to SHA was the multi-purpose mission. I was impressed that an organization could motivate people from all over the city to take 90 minutes out of their day to help feed their community,” he says.
Having grown up in a family where dinnertime was a much-anticipated event, HG is honored to help more families enjoy such times, free from worry about the source of their next meal.
HG shares his home with three close friends, two cats and Myles, a beloved rescue pit bull.
“I’ve held a number of professional positions, but this is the first time I can leave work each day knowing that my effort made a dent in food insecurity for members of our community.”
~ HG Gruebmeyer
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
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
Second Helpings Atlanta began as a social action project in 2004 at Temple Sinai Atlanta, organized and operated solely by congregants. 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.
Second Helpings 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), and received our 501(c)(3) status in March 2011. SHA hired their 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, Second Helpings Atlanta has rescued over 16 million pounds of food; along the way incorporating several new programs into our operations and consistently rescuing over 300,000 pounds of food every month.
In 2021, SHA diverted over 3.6 million pounds of surplus food from landfills, enough to provide over 3 million nutritious meals to those in need. In addition, we provided 400,000 prepared meals to our partner agencies through our Full Plate Project. 168,000 of those meals were meal kits packed through the Meals with Meaning program, our newest partnership with HelloFresh.
SHA recognizes that a key to their 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.