PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KRON) — Our nation wastes about 40-percent of the food we produce, and one East Bay non-profit turns that perfectly good food into meals for hungry families.

Volunteers who power the non-profit organization White Pony Express huddle in the group’s warehouse sorting almost 100-percent surplus perishable items like produce, bread and dairy donated from local grocers and restaurants.

“There is all this all this food that’s available and so just getting it to the local level is really important,” said Michele Nikoloff, volunteer. Once the bad items are separated from the good, the fresh food is packed and delivered to household doorsteps the same day.

“We serve approximately 120,000 people per year,” said Eve Birge, executive director. Birge said most of the people receiving the food and prepared meals live in east Contra Costa County and Richmond.

“We are a very wasteful nation when it comes to excess food. We are throwing away 40 percent of the food that we produce, and if we can rescue just one-third of that perfectly good food, we eliminate hunger altogether,” added Birge.

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The group also operates a general store distributing free clothing, toys and supplies. Since the organization was founded nine years ago, it has given away more than 920,000 items.

“The need is much greater than I think the average person thinks — especially, right now with prices of everything getting so expensive. You know, just also, there’s just so many more people that are in need on a daily basis,” said Lisa McNamara, volunteer.

White Pony Express delivers more than 20 million pounds of food in the county each year.