For the second straight year, Move For Hunger has partnered with America’s Grow-a-Row, a fellow New Jersey-based nonprofit, to bring fresh produce to local food banks and pantries. During this harvest season alone, the fruits of their labor have helped produce almost 155,000 pounds, equalling nearly 130,000 meals, of food so far.
For the past year, Move For Hunger has prioritized and emphasized the importance of increasing access to fresh food and rescuing fresh food from being wasted. Access to fresh food isn’t something everyone has. In fact, more than 17% of the U.S population (or 56 million Americans) live in a food desert, an area in which someone does not have access to a food source, such as a supermarket, within a reasonable distance. In urban areas, a food desert is an area where a supermarket is 0.5 to 1 miles away from home, and in rural areas, if a supermarket is 10-20 miles away you would be considered to live in a food desert. For households that don’t have access to a vehicle in urban areas, if the supermarket is more than 0.5 miles away, they are considered to be in a food desert.
This is why Move For Hunger launched the Fresh Food Initiative last year, in the summer of 2021, with the goal to recover more fresh and perishable food. That’s where we present to you our amazing collaboration with America’s Grow-a-Row!
Since August of 2021, America’s Grow-A-Row has provided Move For Hunger with over 170,000 lbs of fresh food - that's over 140,000 meals - to be donated to local food banks in New Jersey and Massachusetts! In New Jersey, the same state where Move For Hunger was founded, more than 650,000 people and 1 in 11 children face hunger.
Here’s how we did it: America’s Grow-a-Row is a non-profit organization based out of Pittstown, New Jersey. They provide services of gleaning, growing, and giving food to food insecure families. They also teach people about the importance of healthy eating and work out of five different farms in New Jersey. America’s Grow-a-Row (AGAR) partnered up with Move For Hunger to help distribute food from the harvest season on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, July through October.
Move For Hunger’s Program Manager of Fresh Food, Jackie Godlewski worked out logistics of transporting fresh and perishable produce to local food banks in New Jersey in efforts to save perfectly good produce from going to waste. Numerous food banks have been involved with these transports and initiatives with Move For Hunger and AGAR and the duty to distribute the food to families and individuals in need.
In August 2022 alone, Total Quality Logistics (TQL) helped assist in 24 transports by hauling the goods in their box trucks! The Center of United Methodist Aid to the Community, Franklin Food Pantry in Franklin Massachusetts, and the Salvation Army of Plainfield were all given thousands of pounds of fresh produce to distribute!
TQL is the second largest freight brokerage firm in North America and has been working with Move For Hunger since early 2020 to transport food donations. Last summer, TQL partnered with Move For Hunger to help transport over 125,000 lbs of Sweet Potatoes in North Carolina! Check out that amazing story here!
Thank you so much to America’s Grow-A-Rowand TQL for continuing to help fight hunger with us at Move For Hunger. Not only are you helping the Move For Hunger team’s mission, but for the remarkable impact that you are helping people right in New Jersey. We can’t wait to see what’s next with America’s Grow a Row and what impact we will be making with them into the fall, and the future! Our mission wouldn’t be possible without partnerships with amazing organizations like you!
Every donation is needed, no matter how big or small and if you want to join us in the fight against hunger, you can do so by making a donation, hosting a fundraiser or food drive, or joining our network!