“Third” Chance Foods

And Our Incredible Volunteers Commitment to Environmental Sustainabilty!

Going the extra mile to prevent food waste.

Second Chance Foods works hard to incorporate responsible environmental practices into every level of our work. For example, we’ve previously mentioned that we feed our scraps to hogs and chickens, compost additional waste, and recycle what’s left to keep as much food and materials out of the landfill. But did you know our volunteers go even further and take food, scraps, seeds, and more home? We’re so impressed with their commitment to reducing waste and hope these simple yet innovative solutions inspire you to try something new and reduce your food waste at home!

“Sometimes, due to available space in our freezer, time, or the process needed to preserve something, we have leftover foods that still have potential. One of my favorite things is our volunteers willingness to step up and ensure these items are not wasted. It could be chicken bones we removed to speed up cooking but don’t have room to save or time to process, or some crazy mushroom stems that we don’t have time to dehydrate for later. But, it says a lot that even after a full day of cooking for others, our volunteers are willing to go the extra mile and take items home to cook or transform for their own families. 

It truly shows their commitment to reducing food waste!” 

– Martha Elder, Executive Director

3rd Chance Mushrooms grown from scraps

In the kitchen, we sometimes use the term Third Chance Foods to describe additional ways our volunteers and organization utilize the food we receive. Most recently, a volunteer took home some Oyster Mushroom stems that were too woody to cook. We would typically compost or give to our farm partners to feed animals, but instead, Anya took them home to dehydrate and use in soup stock. She also decided to put some in straw – and has already regrown new mushrooms! This resourcefulness exemplifies our volunteers’ commitment to reducing food waste and using everything we can. 

Utilizing Everything - Volunteers preventing waste!

Bone Broth and Veggie Scraps

We love making broth from scratch. But there isn’t always enough freezer space for the stock we could make. The fringe benefit of having food-waste-savvy volunteers is that they love utilizing everything they can in the kitchen – including taking home chicken bones and carcasses to turn into a delicious broth!

Seeds for Eating and Growing!

Another reoccurring source for 3rd Chance Foods is the seeds of our produce! For example, seeds from squashes and pumpkins can be roasted and seasoned as a snack or topping for soup and salads. Or, many seeds from produce like tomatoes and peppers can be used to grow new plants! Because we receive so much locally grown produce, our volunteers love saving seeds and growing something new.

So. Many. Bananas.

Bananas come to the kitchen in a steady supply and many shades of yellow to brown. Dehydrating bananas into chips is a great solution when they’re turning too ripe – but at the rate we receive them, we could start a side business selling chips! Baking with bananas is also fun, but most bread and muffin recipes use such low qualities of banana’s we still have leftovers. We love that our volunteers will take excess bananas home to their freezer and use them in bread, smoothies, and even ice cream!

More Ideas to Reduce Waste At Home


Did you know you can regrow food from scraps? Similar to Anya growing mushrooms, celery, root vegetables, onions, potatoes, and many herbs can be regrown and re-harvested. Most the time you just have to place the root in water with some sunlight, other foods you can plant in your garden! 

Read more about how here.

Make Dog Treats

We get it. Sometimes your avocado looks and feels perfect but the inside is over ripe. Great news! You can take 1 avocado, 1 banana, a tablespoon of coconut oil and blend it then freeze in small ice cube trays, lick mats, or silicon molds for an occasional treat (note too much avocado can upset some dogs stomachs – start small like any new food). Dogs also love sweet potato, squash, green beans, peas, and more. Get creative and read more about what fruits and vegetables your dog can eat here!

Nourish Your Skin

Not into growing scraps or spoiling your pet? Many foods like avocado, fruit, coffee, yogurt, and oats can be easily turned into an up-cycled DIY spa treatment.

Make face masks based on your skin type or try some other beauty treatments that put those leftover foods to work!

Food Rescue to the Climate Rescue

Are you interested in reading more about our commitment to environmental sustainability? Read our last story about all the ways we work to reduce our internal food waste and improve our operations here!

Visit Us at Green Ossining's Earth Day!

Green Ossining’s 13th Annual Earth Day Festival – April 22, 2022.

A Riverfront Family-Oriented Day of Music & Activities Demonstrating our Support of Environmental Protection Learn more at http://www.greenossining.org/earth-day-festival/

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Contact Us

Looking for food?

Though we wish we could nourish everyone in need, Second Chance Foods does not directly distribute meals or groceries to individuals at this time. We utilize existing programs in the community and supplement their food with our meals and groceries. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please refer to our resource page here for our partnerships and local options.

Mailing Address:

P.O.Box 93
Carmel, NY 10512

Kitchen Address:

120 Marvin Ave Brewster, NY 10509

*please note we do not keep "hours" at the kitchen at this time. If you are looking to donate food please contact Kathryn@SecondChanceFoods.org or call 845-723-1302


General Questions please contact Associate Director Stephanie Purcell 845-723-1311

Volunteer Questions contact Volunteer Coordinator Heather Marinelli 845-723-1309

Contact Form

Second Chance Foods is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

EIN# 81-0996695