Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, food insecurity has been on the rise. Lines at food banks grow longer, and millions more people struggle to put food on the table. We saw this ease last year as more COVID restrictions were lifted for both Americans and Canadians, but inflation is now taking another heavy toll.
Grocery prices are now nearly 7% higher than they were a year ago, and the median rent has risen 16% in the past twelve months, leaving low-income families to choose between putting food on the table or paying for a roof over their heads. In 2021, a survey was conducted that found one-third of respondents with household incomes of less than $50,000 reported that rising inflation has made it difficult to afford groceries, and 38% of respondents with one or more children under the age of 18 reported that they can no longer afford groceries for themselves and their families.
If we’ve seen anything over the past 2 years, is that our network steps up when people need it most. Coming off of record years in 2020 and 2021 when we’ve delivered about 4 million meals each year, 2022 looks to be another impactful year with our network transporting nearly 2 million pounds of food in the first 6 months!
The Rise of Fresh Food
In 2021, we launched our fresh food program in an effort to match unused fresh food that needed a home with local food banks and pantries. In just a few short months, we transported more than 700,000 pounds of fresh food donations to those in need across the United States.
This year, we wanted to do even more! We've expanded coast to coast partnering with farms and farmer’s markets, and taken on a new initiative to provide cold storage solutions to farmers in need.
Maple Crest Farms, a small family-owned farm in Kentucky, is one of the first farms that Move For Hunger has provided the new temporary cold storage solution. The largest provider of farm-fresh food in Feeding Kentucky's Farms to Food Bank program, Maple Crest was able to store their fresh produce safely in a refrigerated unit until their harvest was finished and transportation was set up. Their most recent fresh food donation included 55,000 farm-fresh eggs and 1,800 lbs of beef and pork to the Facing Hunger Foodbank!
A farmer’s market in Virginia, called the Dale City Farmers Market, has partnered with Move For Hunger to donate fresh food from May to November. The farmers market has been serving its local community since 1987, and includes nearly 50 vendors in the summer. Paxton Van Lines has been transporting the fresh food from the Dale City Farmer’s Market to the North Virginia Food Rescue. These weekly transports are expected to run through November, and have already transported over 45,000lbs of donations so far! That’s 37,500 meals provided to those in need.
Down in North Carolina, Total Quality Logistics assisted with the transport of 40,000 lbs of sweet potatoes from Corey and Sons Farms. These sweet potatoes were taken from Corey and Sons Farms and dropped off at the Tarboro Community Outreach Homeless Shelter and Pantry and Westside Project to help those in need of food.
While we have made a lot of headway so far, 215,500 pounds of fresh food to be exact, but we aren’t done yet. We are embarking on an exciting new project upcoming in Rhode Island that we've never done before (more on that later!).
Returning to In-Person Events
As you might expect, COVID shut down all of our in-person events in 2020 and most of 2021. While we adapted to create unique online and hybrid events, the Move For Hunger staff is thrilled about returning to in-person events, staff retreats, and tradeshows in 2022!
With our entire workforce working remotely across the country, we had the opportunity to bring everyone together under one roof in April. We spent our time getting to know our coworkers, playing games, and (of course) discussing strategies to make our biggest impact yet in 2022!
We’ve also had the opportunity to resume one of our favorite in-person team-building events - truck pulls. So far this year we’ve had two, and we have many more to come!
Our first truck pull of the year was in Atlanta in April! The event was hosted in conjunction with HD Supply’s Leadership Conference, where nearly 200 HD Supply employees were broken into 18 different teams to pull moving trucks to a makeshift finish line in the least amount of time. Kroger donated 12,000lbs of donations (10,000 meals) for the Atlanta Community Food Bank as part of the event. Ready to prove their strength as well, Mazza Recycling Center in Tinton Falls, New Jersey hosted their first annual truck pull in June. The event helped raise over $20,000 to fight hunger in New Jersey and nationwide which will provide more than 50,000 meals to those in need.
Throughout the entire month of June, Move For Hunger and corporate partners, Weichert Workforce Mobility and Nelson Westerberg partnered together to launch the 2022 Move 2 Fight Hunger Challenge. With more than 760 participants joining together to fight hunger nationwide, this amazing group of hunger fighting heroes helped to provide 92,045 meals to those in need with every activity that they participated in during the second annual event challenge.
Speaking of getting active, Team Move For Hunger has had an exciting 2022 so far as well! For the first time EVER, Team Move For Hunger had spots available in the TCS New York City Marathon! This marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world - and also one of the toughest to get into. By joining Team Move For Hunger, marathoners could get an exclusive spot in the marathon. Both the NYC Marathon sold out on spots, as well as all of the spots for our Big Sur race. Our team in Big Sur participated in the race in April, and provided over 88,000 meals to those in need!
Delivering with Food Drives
Without the number of food drives our network hosts each year, we wouldn’t be able to provide the amount of donations we do year after year to the 38 million Americans who struggle with hunger.
We started out the year with our Spread the Love Campaign throughout February, which encourages communities to donate peanut butter and jelly. More than 170 food drives were held by the Move For Hunger network, providing over 48,000 meals to those in need!
For the second year in a row, our Director of Marketing, Adam Bianco, and North American Van Lines hosted their annual food drives. Adam Bianco’s took place in Wyoming, Ohio, a town in Cincinnati, and donated 6,200 meals to those in need. The Great North American Food Drive lasted for two weeks, and collected over 17,000 lbs of donations, providing over 14,000 meals to food insecure communities across the United States.
In June, Move For Hunger’s network stepped up to participate in the 30th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive! Eight moving companies in Move For Hunger’s mover network participated in the nationwide food drive by picking up donations from their local post office and delivering them to food banks, transporting a total of nearly 50,000lbs of food donations. This provided more than 41,000 meals to residents in need across the country!
We are SO excited and inspired by the amazing impact our network and partners have made this year, and we know their impact in the last half of the year will be just as amazing! We are so thankful for the dedication our team and network have shown so far towards helping end hunger for about 38 million Americans, including 1 in 6 children.
By the Numbers
While we’ve had an insanely busy first half of the year, we’re only gaining momentum from here! Our team will continue to host events across the country and raise awareness about the hunger crisis (if you see one of us, come say hi!). Additionally, we’re preparing for Hunger Action Month in September (one of our favorite months).
The rest of the year tends to be our busiest, with our more popular food drives and events, like the Thanksgiving Food Drive and GivingTuesday, happening around the holidays. We hope you all will join us on our mission to end hunger this year!
If you’d like to join the fight against hunger, make sure to check out our Take Action page to learn how you can help like hosting a food drive or considering making a donation today to support our mission.