With 2022 being our most impactful year since the start of Move For Hunger, providing over 4.6 million meals to food insecure communities, we knew we wanted to set even bigger goals for 2023 - so that’s exactly what we did.
The result (so far) - 2023 is already proving to be our biggest year yet with over 3.6 million meals provided to communities in need - and we’re only in July!
By the Numbers
- 4.3 million pounds of food collected and delivered to food banks and pantries.
- 3.6 million meals delivered to food insecure communities across the country.
- 2.2 million pounds of fresh food provided from farms, farmers markets, and more.
- 305 coordinated food drives with our network.
- 160k meals provided by Team Move For Hunger.
- 157k meals provided by in-person Move For Hunger events.
- 908k lbs of food recovered by the Non-Perishable Bulk Recovery Program.
Current State of Hunger
Since the pandemic, there’s been a seemingly downward trend of hunger across the nation - going from 42 million Americans facing hunger in 2021 to 34 million Americans in 2022. This (likely temporary) decline in hunger could be attributed to more policies supporting hunger relief organizations and programs, as well as emergency allotments to participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) starting in March of 2020.
However, in December of 2022, cuts to the food assistance program were signed into law, leaving little time for states and individuals to prepare for less access to food. The timing of these cuts to the SNAP program coincided with significant inflation across the country - including transportation, utilities, housing costs, and groceries.
With the decrease in SNAP benefits coinciding with an all-time high of inflation, food banks across the nation are seeing a higher demand than ever before. "Like many food banks across the country, we are experiencing that lines are getting longer," Kyle Waide, President and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, told CBS News. "We've seen a 40% increase to our network over the last 15 months."
According to Feeding America, nearly three quarters of their food banks have reported an increase in demand after the emergency allotments ended. "We are transitioning from a pandemic crisis to a hunger crisis," said Vince Hall, chief government relations officer at Feeding America.
The Move For Hunger team and network are working tirelessly to provide more meals than ever to food banks and pantries across the country. We are incredibly thankful to each and every individual, partner, and organization that has helped us provide meals to those who need it most. We can’t wait to celebrate with you all when we hit our 2023 goal of 8 million pounds delivered to food insecure communities.
“We’re seeing and hearing report after report of how traffic to food banks has increased dramatically, again! I couldn’t be more thrilled of how our team and network continues to step up and take on the challenge like never before.”-
Our Fresh Food Program is Going Bananas
Our Fresh Food Program was launched in October of 2021, and has since proven to be one of our fastest growing programs yet. With our first year providing over 700,000 pounds of fresh food in just a few short months, it’s no surprise that 2022 was the ‘Rise of Fresh Food’ for Move For Hunger.
In 2022, our network helped us deliver over 1.8 million pounds to the communities who needed it most. In the first half of 2023, we’ve already surpassed last year’s total at more than 2.1 million pounds of fresh food.
From initiatives like the Seafood Distribution Program to collaborating with the Society of St Andrew to providing cold storage solutions to weekly fresh food donation transportations, our network is more active than ever in making sure communities in need have access to fresh food. See what our Fresh Food Program has been up to here.
Introducing the Non-Perishable Recovery Program
At the beginning of the year, Move For Hunger launched the Non-Perishable Bulk Recovery Program. This program is in part the nonperishable counterpart to the fresh program, aiming to bring in larger loads of food.
The ultimate goal of the program is to focus on large recovery loads from manufacturers and distributors of food and beverage products, to help them donate short-dated items (items with a best-by or other code date within a few weeks), and recover donations from community events, like marathons or festivals.
Rolling Out the Green Carpet: Move For Hunger Presents Zero Waste Kitchen
Did you know If we recovered about half of the food being wasted, we could feed every hungry person in the United States 3 meals a day, every day?
While the main goal of Move For Hunger is to provide meals to communities in need by taking surplus food to food banks and pantries, that is only part of the solution. Learning more about sustainability and food waste are essential to solving the problem of hunger, which is why we launched Zero Waste Kitchen in early June. The more people can reduce their food waste at home, the more food will be available to donate to those in need.
Zero Waste Kitchen is a content hub full of our top tips and tricks for living sustainably, zero waste cooking, recipes, gardening, and composting. With over 38% of food in the United States being wasted each year, we hope you’ll join our initiative to help save the planet and feed those in need. Check out our website here, and make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok (@zero.wastekitchen).
P.S. If you’re interested in collaborating with Zero Waste Kitchen, email [email protected].
The Event(s) of the Year
2022 was the first year post-pandemic that the Move For Hunger Team returned to in-person events, staff retreats, and tradeshows, and we’ve been able to continue the momentum into 2023!
With our team spanning from coast to coast, we had the incredible opportunity to host a staff retreat in early February. We spent our time catching up with old coworkers and getting to know new team members and discussing strategies to impact our network and communities in need in a BIG way.
From meal packing events with UniGroup and Sodexo to ArCANtectures with ReFed to our annual Move 2 Fight Hunger Challenge, our team and network have been going to great lengths to fight hunger in 2023. Because of our incredible network and hard working team, more than 146,000 meals have been provided to food insecure communities. Learn more about our events here.
Throughout June, Move For Hunger partnered with Weichert Workforce Mobility to host the 3rd Annual MOVE 2 Fight Hunger Challenge. The challenge had over 840 participants who stayed active throughout the month, providing 135,000 meals to communities in need across the country.
Team Move For Hunger has also been making a big impact so far this year, participating in marathons like Big Sur, TCS NYC Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, and so many more! From marathons to DIY races, our team has turned their nearly 1,000 miles into providing over 160,000 meals! Learn more about our race team here.
Trucking Along with our Transportation Network
Originally called the Mover Program, we hit the gas earlier this year to shift the focus to include all types of transportation companies. From weekly food transports to transporting donations from food drives with our multifamily network, our transportation network of 1,200+ is always gassed up ready to help deliver donations to communities in need.
Last but not ‘Leased’
Our Multifamily Program continues to grow, with more apartment communities and property management companies joining the fight against hunger. From Can Castle to Shark Week, College Student Move-Outs to Back to School Food Drives, our multifamily network of 2,500+ communities continues to work hard in the fight against food insecurity.
So far in 2023, our multifamily network has hosted over 400 food drives and collected over 53,000 lbs of donations, providing nearly 45,000 meals to the communities who need it most.
Our team has worked tirelessly this year to make sure meals are placed on the tables of those who need them most - and we’re still going strong!
We’re looking forward to the second half of the year (our busiest time) and showcasing our network’s impact. We have a lot of things in store that we can’t wait to share, in addition to several events planned across the country, and Hunger Action Month in September.
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.