Throughout 2022, Move For Hunger was focused on our initiative of rescuing fresh food in order to limit food waste while fighting hunger. There were a multitude of fresh rescues picked up and transported by Move For Hunger this summer, and we want to highlight some of our favorites while highlighting our amazing partnership with our country's largest gleaning organization, the Society of St Andrew.
Through our partnership with Society of St Andrew (SoSA), we recovered over 640,000lbs of watermelon, sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, butternut squash, and cucumbers across 6 states on the east coast.
If you aren’t aware, gleaning is the act of harvesting extra crops from farms and gardens to give to our neighbors facing hunger. Gleaning also helps farmers reduce food waste as 21% of food waste comes from farms.
Earlier in the year, Military Produce donated excess produce to SoSA to aid with hunger relief, however they lacked the ability to transport the food from the pickup location to local distribution sites. After learning of the dilemma, Dunmar Moving Systems - Norfolk, an agent with Allied Van Lines, and Stewart Moving and Storage of Portsmouth, volunteered to help with these transports. From January to May, the two movers alternated pickups, transporting more than 29,500lbs of fresh produce to the Azalea Garden Church of God for immediate distribution.
The next month, Society of St Andrew was notified of an opportunity to recover 40,000lbs of onions from a farm in Aurora, North Carolina. Out of the Garden Project in Greensboro, NC was able to receive the donations, but didn’t have a way to transport the onions. SoSA reached out to our Move For Hunger’s Fresh Food Program Manager, Jackie Godlewski, who then contacted Ryder Integrated Logistics. Ryder quickly arranged transportation and were able to safely deliver the donation to the destination for immediate distribution to the community!
At the beginning of August, Ryder Integrated Logistics transported over 111,900 servings of butternut squash in North Carolina for distribution. The squash was picked up from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and brought to the Iglesia Presbiteriana Emanuel Church parking lot for distribution to 9 local hunger relief and social service agencies across 5 counties in North Carolina.
Society of St Andrew got their start in 1979 with “potato drops”, which involves dumping a large pile of potatoes in a parking lot where volunteers can then sort, package, and distribute the potatoes to multiple agencies or individuals in local surrounding communities. In 2022, Move For Hunger had the pleasure of participating in three of these events. Working with Magnum Trucking, we coordinated agricultural dump trucks to haul and dump a total of 120, 000 pounds of healthy sweet potatoes for community distribution in North and South Carolina.
We are so thankful for our partnership with Society of St Andrew! Special thanks to Ryder Fleet Management, TQL, and the farms for thinking of us to help them with transporting their food and feeding the community!