You Can Donate Your Food When You Move

Relocating homes doesn’t have to add to food waste.

Apr 17, 2021
You Can Donate Your Food When You Move | Relocating homes doesn’t have to add to food waste.

When you are moving to a new apartment or home there is so much to do. Deciding what to take and what to discard is also something that has to be considered especially if you are moving a long distance away. Many people decide that it is easiest to just throw things away, like the food in your pantry and fridge but now there is a way to make sure that the food goes to good use and not in the trash.

Working in the moving industry with his family and seeing food go to waste is the reason that Adam Lowry founded the nonprofit Move for Hunger. He told his story on the organization’s website saying that he saw people throw a lot of things away when they moved but the food really bothered him. Sometimes people left enough food to stock a pantry sitting on the curb.

So, in 2009 Lowry and his family started asking customers if they had any food they wanted to donate to food banks and after just one month they collected over 300 pounds of food that would have gone to waste. Lowry wondered: “If one company could make this kind of impact, what could an entire network of moving companies do?” And that’s when Move for Hunger was born.

“I had never visited a local food bank before,” Lowry told TODAY. “Growing up here in Monmouth County, New Jersey, the home of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi and the Jersey Shore, you look around and don't see a lot of poverty or food lines. And [the food bank] told us that there were more than 100,000 people, just in our county, that didn't have enough to eat. And at that point, it became personal.”

More than 42 million people in America are food insecure, according to Feeding America and 13 million of them are children. Many of these people do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and rely on food banks and hunger relief organizations.

Since 2009, Move for Hunger has grown into a network of socially-responsible moving companies across the US and Canada. The organization said that many of the members volunteer or assist in community food drives. In fact, since 2009, Move for Hunger has delivered more than 22 million pounds of usable food to food banks.

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How do they do it? When someone contacts a participating moving company, they receive a program letter that talks about food insecurity in their community plus a box and recyclable food collection bag.

“You can simply put aside your nonprofit donations, and then we make sure that food gets picked up and delivered to a local food bank in the community,” Lowry told TODAY. The organization also coordinates large scale food drives that collect food for area food banks that are also fun events.

“So whether it be our 'Spread the Love' food drive [Valentine’s Day], because peanut butter is one of the most requested items. [It's] shelf stable, high in protein, food banks need it, and it's a really expensive product. Or maybe our Shark Week food drive, [where] we're collecting canned tuna fish because kids like tuna just as much as sharks do,” said Lowry.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in the number of hungry people in America. To help with the increased need, Move for Hunger has connected with farms, grocery stores, and refrigerated transportation companies to bring fresh food to local food banks. The organization organized 1,000 drivers and delivered over 5 million pounds of food.

“We've gotten to take the time to know as many food banks and pantries, big and small,” Lowry said. “We want to be a partner for them so they can spend more time getting food out the door rather than trying to figure out how they're going to get food in the door.”

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.