Using their own time and equipment, a group of six professional moving companies put in lots of muscle and heart to ensure that families across New Jersey had enough to eat. In looking for a way to bring attention to the good deeds their members were already doing, The New Jersey Warehousemen & Movers Association (NJWMA) partnered with Move For Hunger to create the first annual Food Frenzy.
This food drive competition for companies to “one up” their colleagues in a race to fight hunger had stunning results: the group collected more than six tons (exact number: 12,341 lbs.) of food and delivered it to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside on April 20.
This is a major boost for the Asbury Park-based Move for Hunger. The nonprofit works with relocation companies across the country to bring unused perishables to food banks to reduce food waste and feed families. They were thrilled with what their partners were willing to do. “The New Jersey Warehousemen & Movers Association has always been one of our biggest allies in the fight against hunger,” said Adam Lowy, Executive Director/Founder of Move For Hunger. “That these moving companies volunteered their time to hold food drives and deliver the donations to the FoodBank shows how deeply committed they are to the communities they serve.
For the companies who participated — All Seasons Movers in Kearny, Lowy’s Moving Service in Neptune, Ridgewood Moving Services of Mahwah, Simonik Transportation & Warehousing Group in Burlington, and Sinclair Moving & Storage in West Berlin — it was a no-brainer to take part in the event. “We’ve been involved with Move for Hunger through the New Jersey Movers Association for the last couple of years,” said Robert Reeves, president of Sinclair Moving & Storage. As part of the NJWMA’s board of directors, he was thrilled to be able to green light the initiative. “This is the first year that the Movers Association has done this. We’ve got some good people in our association and we did pretty good.”
Setting up shop in local grocery stores, Reeves and his employees collected both food and cash donations. They used the funds they were given to purchase additional food from right inside the store. “There were six to eight people collecting food. It took four to five hours. There were lots of people coming in and out who were nice and helpful,” said Reeves of both his employees and community members who showed their charity.
Since the group wasn’t used to asking for donations, only receiving them, they didn’t know what to expect. “A lot of my employees hadn’t done these things before, they were apprehensive. And once it was all done they were all surprised. [This kind of activity] restores your faith in people”
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey has benefited from these acts of good faith and were happy to be on the receiving end of the NJWMA’s mission. “There is a constant and growing need in the communities we serve for more food – mainly healthy food, like produce and protein,” said Tim Vogel, director of food sourcing at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. “The spring and summer are especially tough times for men, women and children facing hunger, as many folks are on vacation [and out of school]. The FoodBank, with help from our community, fills that nutrition gap with nourishing summer meals.”
According to Feeding America, more than 1 million New Jerseyans don’t know where their next meal will come from. “Last year, we distributed over 43 million pounds of food among New Jerseyans in need through our more than 1,000 community partners such as soup kitchens, food pantries, and feeding programs,” said Vogel.
Thanks to the motivation and kindness of NJWMA there is more food getting into the hands — and plates — that need it most.