Voices from the Third Sector

Mobilizing An Industry To Fight 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.

Watch this segment aired on MSNBC:

We move everything from small households to large corporations. But 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 my family’s small moving company could collect 300 lbs of food in one month, then what could hundreds of movers do? What could thousands of movers do? My mind was racing! I founded Move For Hunger under the premise that people want to do good things – sometimes they just don’t know how. When given a simple opportunity to do something good, people will!

When I visited my local food bank, I was shocked to learn that over 100,000 people living in Monmouth & Ocean Counties, NJ struggled with hunger (a number that has now increased by 25% in just five years). I’d lived here my entire life, completely unaware that hunger was such a huge problem. Education and awareness has been a core part of our model. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know it exists. Move For Hunger increases awareness about local hunger issues every day while providing a simple and free call to action.

There are now over 600 moving companies who are going out 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. To date, we have delivered over 3.5 million pounds of food to food banks – enough to provide 3 million meals to individuals in need.

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 the US. 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”. That’s how we can create real, sustainable change.

Want to learn more? Follow Move For Hunger on Twitter @moveforhunger or visit www.moveforhunger.org/donate to make a donation to the cause or to find out how you can get involved to help move hunger out.