Move For Hunger: Fighting Hunger With Each Move
August 12, 2014
Adam Lowy, Executive Director, Move For Hunger
It was just five years ago that I was sitting with my father talking about the family business. It’s a moving business, actually. My great-grandfather started it over 90 years ago here in NJ. While I never wanted to actually run the business myself, I certainly had the “opportunity” to work my share of back-breaking moving jobs when I was growing up – that’s just what seems to happen when your family owns a moving company.
Regardless of the job, one trend became apparent: When people move, they throw away a lot of “stuff.” Furniture, clothing, and food. People were throwing out perfectly good, unexpired food! After awhile, it really started to bother me, so I asked my dad if he’d be willing to ask his customers to donate their food rather than throw it away. Our moving company was in the home anyway, people were throwing away their belongings, so it just kind of made sense. In just one month, we collected 300 lbs of food. My life was changed forever, and Move For Hunger was born.
If just one local moving company could make this kind of impact, what would happen if every moving company across the country would also just take a few extra steps to incorporate giving back into everyday business? After additional research, I discovered that this solution would address several existing challenges. One of the challenges food banks face is the high cost of transportation. Additionally, food banks typically find hardship during the summer months when school is out and children do not have access to school emergency food assistance programs. The summer is, however, when the most moves occur. I was thrilled that Move For Hunger would have the ability to bring additional food directly to the food banks at a time when it is most needed!
To date, we have delivered over 3.5 million pounds of food to food banks across America and in Canada – enough to provide 3 million meals to individuals in need. There are now over 600 moving companies who are going into people’s homes each and every day, educating them about local hunger issues, and giving them the opportunity to fight hunger during their moves. As we grow, I realize that we are just scratching the surface of the impact we can create. 50 million Americans struggle with hunger. 17 million children go to bed hungry each night. Yet there are literally thousands of moving companies operating across N. America. All we have to do is mobilize them! Mobilize them to create awareness about an issue that often goes unspoken. Mobilize them to become better corporate citizens. Mobilize them to make hunger relief a core part of the way they do business – make it “business as usual”. I believe this model of collaboration is the key to creating real, sustainable change, which is why I am so thrilled to be a part of the Alliance to End Hunger. Hunger is a complex problem that cannot be solved by a single organization or method. Our only chance to actually do something about the problem is to work together. I look forward to working with the Alliance to share ideas, scale best practices, and provide value to a network already doing incredible things!