About Us

The Idea

While 42 million Americans live in food insecure homes (including a quarter of all children under the age of six), more than 42 million Americans grow fruit, vegetables herbs and nuts in home gardens – often more than they can use, preserve or give to friends. The rest adds up to more than 11 billion pounds of wasted food – enough to feed 28 million hungry Americans.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

The Opportunity

Struggling to feed their families, many Americans, both those chronically and recently economically challenged have come to rely on the more than 33,500 food pantries (also called food shelves, food closets, food cupboards or food banks in some areas) across America to help feed their families.

These food pantries, relying on donated and purchased foods, almost never have fresh produce and instead rely on canned or processed produce shipped from across the country at significant cost, both economic and environmental.

At the same time, millions of home and community gardeners nationwide with an abundant harvest do not know that they can share their harvest, do not know how to share their harvest and do not know where to share their harvest. AmpleHarvest.org solves that for them.

The Vision

AmpleHarvest.org envisions an America where millions of gardeners eliminate wasted food, malnutrition and hunger in their own community.

The Mission

AmpleHarvest.org works to diminish the waste of food and therefore hunger in America by using education and technology to enable home and community gardeners to share their excess harvests with a nearby food pantry instead of letting it go to waste.

The Goal

Our “No Food Left Behind” goal is to have a healthier and by extension, wealthier America.

The Impact

  • Currently, 8,262 food pantries across all 50 states are registered to receive a sustainable and recurring supply of freshly harvested, locally grown food (many for the first time) from area growers – for free!
  • Since its launch in 2009, growers across all 50 states have donated tens of millions of pounds of fresh that would have been lost to waste were instead donated to a nearby food pantry for the first time.
  • Millions of pantry clients can feed their family fresh food instead of food packaged with added salt and sugar thereby reducing the likelihood of diet related illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
  • Children are exposed to fresh produce with many learning for the first time that apples do not normally come pre-sliced in cellophane, peas come in pods and not cans, and carrots are normally sweet and crunchy. This helps decrease the risk of childhood obesity and the likelihood that they will carry healthy eating into adulthood.
  • Gardeners across America enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping their neighbors in need by reaching into their backyard instead of their back pocket.
  • Families are introduced to new varieties of food they may have had no prior access to.
  • Pantries are able to reduce their carbon footprint as they source more food locally. They decrease the amount of disposable packages or cans that have been trucked across the country.
  • The community waste stream is reduced (taxes too!) as excess food is donated instead of being thrown away thereby also reducing methane emissions (a climate change gas with 20 times the impact of CO2) at trash dumps.
  • All this occurs with an extremely high return on investment

The Staff


Gary Oppenheimer

Gary Oppenheimer is our Executive Director and Founder. A self described aging geek, he has worked with computers and communications going back to the 1970’s. As director of a community garden in 2009, he learned about the wasted food in many plots and created a program called “Ample Harvest” to get the excess food to local food pantries. Realizing this as a nationwide problem, he created a nationwide solution called AmpleHarvest.org to use the Internet educate, encourage and enable millions of growers nationwide to share their ample harvest with local food pantries in all 50 states. Gary can be reached at [email protected].


Brian Lowell

Brian Lowell is our Administrative-Operations Manager. Brian comes to AmpleHarvest.org with a four year background in non-profit management and development. Although lacking a green thumb himself, his experience working with an adult literacy organization has left him with an appreciation of how small acts of generosity can have profound impacts on communities, and change individual lives for the better. In his spare time Brian is an active member of both the New York and national ultimate frisbee communities as both an organizer and player, and spends an unhealthy amount of energy stressing out over the fortunes of Liverpool Football Club. Brian can be reached at [email protected].


Leanne Mazurick

Leanne Mazurick is our Food Pantry Outreach Coordinator. She has worked in higher education for the last 10 years engaging students through volunteer experiences both domestically and internationally. Through these experiences, Leanne gained valuable insight into the complexities of social justice issues that impact so many. Hunger relief and sustainable agriculture are of particular interest to Leanne and she is thrilled to be combining those two passions as Food Pantry Outreach Coordinator for AmpleHarvest.org. Leanne can be reached at [email protected].


Jamie McCarthy

Jamie McCarthy is our Marketing and Communications Coordinator. She has been digging in the dirt since she was little, learning by following her parents around their tiny but prolific garden. Early on, she realized her eye for design was stronger than her green thumb, so she picked up a pencil and became a multimedia designer and communications specialist. Jamie is also an avid runner and outdoor enthusiast who has experienced first-hand the improvements in performance and recovery by refueling with healthy fresh food. She loves the passion in the food and gardening communities and strives to continue making the social connections that help them to grow. Jamie can be reached at [email protected].

The Board of Directors

Gary Oppenheimer

AmpleHarvest.org Founder
Executive Director

Gary Oppenheimer, a World Food Prize nominee, CNN Hero, lecturer and speaker (including a TED presentation and a Google Tech Talk), 2013 Purpose Prize Fellow, member of the James Beard Foundation Food Waste Advisory Board,receiver of the Points of Light Tribute award for AmpleHarvest.org, Huffington Post’s “Greatest Person of the Day” and “2011 Game Changer”, winner of the Russell Berrie Foundation’s “Making A Difference” award, winner of the Glynwood 2011 “Wave of the Future” award, winner of the 2012 Elfenworks “In Harmony With Hope” award, Echoing Green semifinalist and founder of AmpleHarvest.org now makes his home in the mountains of northern New Jersey after having lived on a boat on the Hudson River in Manhattan since 1978. He is also a Master Gardener, Rutgers Environmental Steward, former community garden director, former environmental commissioner, an avid gardener and long distance cyclist.

Aware of the increasing hunger problem in America and, in 2009, after seeing the amount of wasted food in the community garden as well as other gardens around the country, he created AmpleHarvest.org – a nationwide effort to enable America’s 42 million home gardeners who grow food to be able to easily find a local food pantry eager for their excess garden bounty.

Named CNN Hero a year later, he was introduced on the Larry King Live show which was followed by a live interview with CNN anchor Ali Velshi.

He has appeared in numerous radio and TV interviews, has spoken at Wharton’s Social Responsibility conference, Temple University, the Food Conference at UC Davis, Jewish Theological Seminary, the Brooklyn Food Conference and many others.

Because AmpleHarvest.org worked closely with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to improve fresh food access at thousands of food pantries nationwide, he had the opportunity to meet the President and First Lady and she subsequently highlighted AmpleHarvest.org in a speech in early 2012.

Gary also does public speaking about hunger and AmpleHarvest.org, individuals making a difference in their community as well as a variety of environmental topics.

He also enjoys boating, hiking, farming (chickens for eggs and vegetables) and attacking challenges of all sorts. He is a firm believer in the notion that to do the impossible, you must first believe it isn’t.

Gary is available for speaking engagements and panel discussions. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Additional background information about Gary Oppenheimer is available here.


David Karlin

David Karlin is the President of Benecard Services, LLC, a prescription benefit manager and National Vision Administrators, LLC, a managed vision care company. He is also President and a member of the Board of Directors of Heartland Fidelity Insurance Company.

His career has been focused in healthcare and health benefits with an emphasis on the intersection of technology and clinical information; prescription medication adherence; and health management. He has three decades of management experience including responsibility for operations, sales and marketing and information technology. Previous roles include senior management positions at Merck-Medco, LLC and National Prescription Administrators, Inc.

David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy; a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy of the University at Albany and a Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School of Union University.

Cameron Burgess

For more than twenty-five years, Cameron Burgess has been devoted to amplifying and accelerating the work of mission-driven change makers throughout the world.

Principal at Uncompromise, co-founder at Icologi, and one of two managing partners at Sphaera, Cameron has been described as a ‘polymath of impact’, having worked across more than thirty different ‘world -positive’ sectors, across twenty three (and counting!) countries.

A strategist, speaker, and social agent, Cameron is the lead author of Billions to Trillions, a concept paper that describes how a transformative approach to collaboration and finance will support citizens, governments, corporations, and civil society to share the burdens and benefits of solving wicked problems.

A consultant and adviser to organisations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Cameron is a strategist and systems designer who combines his experience as an investor, advisor and entrepreneur to develop robust, scalable, ethical systems that align purpose, strategy, and operations.


Terry L. McCrary

Mr. McCrary founded McCrary & Company in 1998 with the goal of providing financial analysis, investment advice and management services to clients on Distressed Securities and Quantitative Equity Research. Recent activities include directing the liquidation of a $400 million multi-national corporation for its secured lender, a major Hong Kong-based merchant bank; creating & implementing a corporate structure which enabled client, an NYSE-listed manufacturer of industrial equipment in Austria, to leverage its R&D expenditures by more than 2x through the use of investment and R&D tax credits and other incentives across multiple jurisdictions; leading the acquisition of a failed bank in Romania.

Terry served as Managing Director – Research of Diem Capital Management in New York, New York from 2002 – 2006. From 1994 until 1998, Mr. McCrary served as Vice President – Research for Auerbach, Pollak & Richardson, Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, conducting research on distressed securities where he sourced, securitized and marketed trade claims of companies reorganizing under Chapter XI.

Mr. McCrary has also served as a guest lecturer to Carnegie Mellon’s Master of Science in Computational Finance and Entrepreneurship programs. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master of Science in Industrial Administration and from Case Western Reserve University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Photo-David Butler

David Butler

David Butler is the Vice President of Digital Operations for Bonnier Corp., one of the leading special-interest publishers in the United States with more than 30 multichannel magazine brands including Popular Science and Saveur. In his role, David is responsible for the processes and infrastructure that support audience engagement growth across more than 50 websites and associated digital products.

David earned a BA degree in Science Writing and Government from Lehigh University and an MBA with concentrations in Management and Finance from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Computer Information Systems from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is also a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP).


Lauren Goldberg

Lauren Goldberg has been passionate about equity in healthy food access for over ten years, and has contributed to that mission through her work, voluntary experience, and advocacy. She managed the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program in Louisville, KY, for five years, engaging numerous partners to help refugee farmers reconnect to their agricultural identities. Together, they increased the supply of healthy produce in that city by $300,000 annually. She was recently quoted in “Flavors from Home: Refugees in Kentucky Share their Stories and Comfort Foods” by Aimee Zaring.

Lauren also focuses her time on preventing the loss and waste of food. She has studied, worked, and volunteered throughout the supply chain over the past three years. She is active in numerous communities of practice related to wasted food research, measurement, and policy. She holds an MS in Food Policy from City University London and a BA in International Relations from Prescott College.


John Powers

John Powers is the Chief Corporate Development Officer for Deloitte Touch Tohmatsu Limited, and is charged with facilitating the inorganic growth aspirations of Deloitte globally. He joined Deloitte Consulting as a Senior Consultant in 1994, and became a Principal in 2001. John continues to serve clients and focuses on major transformations, such as a merger, divesture or restructuring. He has led engagements around the world including in Germany, Japan, and the UK.

He has held various positions with Deloitte, including leading our business serving the Department of Defense, acting as the Managing Director of the Office of the CEO, leading our Global M&A Consulting Practice, and serving on the Deloitte Consulting Board. John has been a Visiting Executive Lecturer at the Darden School of Business on the topic of merger integration.

John graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Organizational Behavior and Management. He was a member of the Army R.O.T.C program and served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Finance Corps Officer. He completed his MBA with a concentration in Strategy and Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

John is also a Master Gardener Volunteer for the Morris County Cooperative Extension.


Steve Shah

Steve Shah is VP of Product for Automation Anywhere, a leader in Robotic Process Automation. Formerly, he led the transition to multi-hybrid cloud at Citrix NetScaler as a key initiative. Steve has also held various product and engineering positions across a broad range of technologies for the enterprise, cloud, ecommerce, and service provider markets. Totaling 26 years of experience, Steve has a keen appreciation for the customer experience. During the 1990s/early 2000s he contributed to multiple books on Unix/Linux systems administration and content delivery networks, including Linux Administration: A Beginners Guide which sold over 100,000 copies.

The Advisory Board

The AmpleHarvest.org Advisory Board is a select group of leaders who contribute their expertise and experience to help AmpleHarvest.org better fulfill its role. A number of people who provide valuable guidance to AmpleHarvest.org request that they remain anonymous and we greatly appreciate their support too.


Robert Egger

Robert is the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, founded DC Central Kitchen, Founder and President of CForward,

founding chair of both the Mayor’s Commission on Nutrition and Street Sense, was also the Co-Convener of the first Nonprofit Congress, held in Washington DC in 2006, serves on the Board of the National Addiction Recovery Program,Back On My Feet,

the Philanthropic Collaborative, and Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen.

Robert was included in the Non Profit Times list of the “50 Most Powerful and Influential” nonprofit leaders from 2006-2009. He was the recipient of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s 2007 “Lifetime Achievement” award and the 2004 James Beard Foundation “Humanitarian of the Year” award. He has been named an Oprah Angel, a Washingtonian of the Year, a Point of Light and one of the Ten Most Caring People in America, by the Caring Institute. He is also a 15-gallon blood donor to the American Red Cross.


Johnathan Bloom

Jonathan is an internationally recognized expert on food waste.

His blog wastedfood.com is the go to source for information on the top. He is also the author of American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It)., a study of food waste in America.


Tristram Stuart

Tristram is the winner of the international environmental award, The Sophie Prize 2011 for his fight against food waste and a TED speaker, author of The Bloodless Revolution in 2006 and

Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal in 2009. Tristram set up the Feeding the 5000, the flagship event of a global food waste campaign where 5000 members of the public are given a free lunch using only ingredients that otherwise would have been wasted. Tristram continues to work with a range of NGOs, governments, and private enterprises internationally to tackle the global food waste scandal.


Stephen Beninanti

Stephen is a First Vice President at RBC Wealth Management, having joined RBC after 20 years at Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley. Prior to that, he was in the restaurant business.

A graduate of St. John’s University, he is the youngest recipient of an honorary doctoral degree from them. Treasurer of WhyHunger.org (and AmpleHarvest.org partner organization), he and his wife operate The Gables Historic Inn and Restaurant, in Beach Haven, NJ. They have created what we regard as a successful model business incorporating exceptional cuisine, supporting sustainable local agriculture and fair employee wages…wrapping historic preservation and hospitality into responsible community citizenship.

In the 1970s, he was co-founder of “Everything Yogurt” which launched the product now known as “frozen yogurt” and created healthy foods restaurants 30 states. .


The AmpleHarvest.org Campaign has been working closely with many organizations as part of our effort to help more people learn that the solution to hunger in America is in their backyard. A sampling of these collaborations are:

• Worked with The White House and Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, we are enabling for millions of people what the First Lady advocates – healthier eating by providing access to the healthy food that would otherwise be unaffordable.

• We won the Glynwood Wave of the Future 2011 award for innovation and leadership in sustainable agriculture and regional food systems.

• We have collaborated with a number of organizations such as Campus Kitchens, the National Gardening Association and the Green Education Foundation, which are focused on helping more children and teenagers learn about healthy eating and have or create access to fresh produce.

• With AARP, we are working to educate, encourage and enable more gardeners to donate excess food from gardens to their neighbors in need.

• AmpleHarvest.org and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) have a joint campaign focused on helping more people become aware of the impact of donated fresh food on America’s veterans, many of whom need the assistance of local food pantries to help feed their families.

• The US Department of Agriculture has been helping to promote AmpleHarvest.org to America’s 95,000 Exstesion Master Gardeners.

• The National Council of Churches has been working together to help more food pantries housed in local churches become aware of and register at AmpleHarvest.org.

• The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working together to help education Americans on the environmental impact of wasted food.

• The Green Education Foundation and AmpleHarvest.org are working together to encourage children to learn to grow food to be donated to pantries as part of the “Plant With A Purpose” program.


The Organization AmpleHarvest.org Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity incorporated in the State of New Jersey. In the spirit of doing the greatest good while creating the smallest environmental impact possible, AmpleHarvest.org operates as a virtual enterprise – everyone involved works from their own location of choice and at times of their choosing.