Move for Hunger's Unique Approach to Food Collection
Joanna Gagis goes on-location to take a look at the hunger crisis in New Jersey and talk with Adam Lowy, Founder of Move for Hunger, an organization that that collects unopened and non-perishable food items from families that are moving and delivers them to their local food pantry.
"Welcome back to Life & Living. I'm Joanna Gagis. It happens all the time. Someone sells their home, and they begin packing their belongings, getting ready for the big move. But what happens to the food in the home? It's very often just too much to bring with them. Well our next guest is moving that food to fight hunger. My family's owned a moving company here in New Jersey for over 90 years. My great grandfather actually started the business, Lowy's moving service, and growing up, my, you know, when your dad own's a moving company you have to work on a moving truck. But in that time we saw just a ton of stuff get thrown away when people relocated food, clothing, furniture, you name it. And what bothered us was the perfectly good unopened non perishable food that people were leaving in their cabinets, or just throwing away. After doing some research, Adam learned an alarming statistic. 40% of the food produced in the United States ends up in a landfill. The fact that we're in a nation where 50 million Americans go to bed hungry every single night, while 40% of the food that we produce is ending up in the trash. That's ridiculous. So we participate with an organization called Move For Hunger. If you have any unopened non perishable food you don't want to bring with you, we'd be happy to pick that food up and bring it to the food bank for you at no charge. I would love to do that. Do you want to see what we have? Yeah let's go see it. Yeah let's go. I started asking people, "Do you want to donate your food when you move?" That was it. I mean it was a simple question. And in a month, I'm doing nothing more than a question. We collected 300 pounds of food. Adam partnered with the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean County, which distributes food to local soup kitchens and food pantries. The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties where we're sitting is a distribution center. We actually work with 300 feeding programs in our network. I like to say we feed the programs that feed the people. Right now we're providing food and services to about one in ten individuals in the two counties. That's over 132,000 people, including 40,000 children. We have seen an increase over the last several years, and it continues to grow. And of the families we actually serve, over 62% of them are working one or more jobs. So it's the working poor who seem to be most in need at this time. Ed Weisbrot is a coordinator..."