Move For Hunger is the first and only non-profit organization that has mobilized the moving, relocation, and multi-family housing industries to fight hunger and food waste by collecting unopened, non-perishable food from people who are moving and delivering it to local food banks and food pantries across the United States and Canada. Move For Hunger’s innovative, sustainable food-rescue programs have resulted in the recovery of over 17 million pounds of food to date, or the equivalent of more than 14 million meals for people in need since it's inception in 2009.
The US has a massive hunger problem, but perfectly good food is being wasted at every level of the supply chain: on the farm, during distribution, at the store, and in homes. Particularly when people move, they throw away a lot of “stuff,” which unfortunately often includes perfectly good non-perishable food that could be given to a family in need rather than be thrown away. According to Feeding America, 40 million Americans, or 1 in 8 -- and specifically, 1 in 7 children -- are struggling with hunger.
Move For Hunger leverages the existing transportation resources of entire industries to collect and deliver surplus food to food banks. Through Move For Hunger’s programs, food banks receive regular, year-round food deliveries without expending any additional overhead costs, while increasing food access to those in need. Move For Hunger also educates millions of people on the issues of hunger and waste and gives individuals who are moving an easy opportunity to contribute to a powerful movement with large-scale collective impact through a simple charitable act.
While Move For Hunger’s mission has always been to alleviate hunger and its accompanying impact on our health, support for those who are hungry and food insecure in the midst of the current Covid-19 pandemic is more critical than ever.
Twenty-nine million children receive free or reduced cost meals through the National School Lunch Program. Families rely on those meals, and they may no longer have access to breakfast and/or lunch, as schools around the country are closing to prevent the spread of the virus. Although some districts are developing alternative ways to distribute food, it will still be a massive disruption to the lives of millions of low-income families. For families with children who cannot care for themselves, things will be even more difficult. Although companies around the country have been encouraging or mandating that their employees work from home, there are still millions of families who do not have that option. If schools are closed, parents of young children or those with disabilities may be forced to stay home and forgo a paycheck.
As large events are canceled, as bars and restaurants are closed, and people are encouraged to stay home, those who work in the service sector will be disproportionately impacted. Senior citizens, as most of us are aware by now, face the highest risk from COVID-19. Nearly 9 million senior citizens are already food insecure, but even those who can afford enough food may be hesitant to leave the house to go shopping. The 500,000+ people who are experiencing homelessness every night, not to mention those who are housing insecure, may not have a safe place to stay, let alone self-quarantine.
Food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters are on the front lines, helping our most vulnerable populations every day. Many of these organizations are non-profits, operate on tight budgets, and depend on volunteers to provide for those in need. They have a difficult job, and it is not going to get any easier in the days and weeks ahead.
In just the short time since Covid-19 has hit the US, Move For Hunger has immediately stepped in to help provide ad-hoc transportation assistance to help emergency food providers meet the heightened demand they are facing. Our network has already jumped in to support last-minute emergency food rescues to restock food banks and pantries, offer their warehouses as storage facilities for food that is waiting to get to the food banks, donate boxes as well as transportation resources, and run drives for N-95 masks for first responders.
The scope of the crisis, however, is going to require a long-term response, and we are determined to see it through.
If you can, please consider making a donation to Move For Hunger. With your support, we can continue to rapidly respond and mobilize our network in communities across the United States and Canada.