More than 50 million Americans face hunger every day; meanwhile, 40% of the food produced in the United States every year is wasted. Move For Hunger offers a sustainable solution to this inexcusable paradox—and we at GTN couldn’t be more excited to partner with them for our annual 2021 Beards & Braids for Busy Season campaign.
To increase support and raise awareness for this important cause, we interviewed Kasia Lenart, Special Events and Engagement Manager at Move For Hunger. Read what Kasia had to say and help make a difference by donating and sharing for this great cause.
What is Move For Hunger’s mission?
Move For Hunger: Move For Hunger is a national non-profit organization that has created a sustainable way to reduce food waste and fight hunger. We have mobilized the leaders of the moving, relocation, and multi-family industries to provide their customers, clients, and residents with the opportunity to donate their food when they move. Through our mover and multi-family programs, community-led food drives, and fundraising campaigns, the Move For Hunger network has delivered over 21.5 million pounds of food to food banks, providing nearly 18 million meals and raises awareness for the millions of Americans who face hunger every day.
What does your organization mean to you, personally? Why do you work there?
Move For Hunger: When I first started at Move For Hunger as an intern, I was overwhelmed when I learned how great the need was in our local community. I had moved here from a small town in Europe when I was 18 and I always imagined the United States as this wealthy “land of milk and honey.” It was eye-opening when I learned that 1 in 6 children in America don’t have enough to eat. After visiting a local food bank, I knew I wanted to make a small difference in any way I could and working at Move For Hunger gives me an opportunity to help others every single day.
Please share one or two stories of individuals whose lives have been changed because of your organization.
Move For Hunger: We hear so many wonderful stories of our network helping those in need! Just this past Thanksgiving season, one of our partners (hosting a food drive) delivered a huge donation of nearly 1,000 pounds to a local church pantry and the pastor told them they actually ran out of food that week. The donation would be able to provide over 800 meals for their community, just in time for the holidays! Another great story that comes to mind is when at the start of the pandemic, we had a 10-year-old girl reach out to us, wanting to help her neighbors in need. Move For Hunger helped her host a food drive where she wrote personalized notes to her neighbors, asking them to drop off any non-perishable food donations they might have to her house. She was able to collect nearly 2,000 pounds of food donations for a local homeless shelter! The story warmed our hearts and gave us hope when we needed it most.
What are your organization’s goals this year?
Move For Hunger: This year with the COVID-19 pandemic still having a huge impact on the food industry, food banks, and hunger, we want to focus on assisting food banks as much as possible with transportation needs and being able to rescue fresh produce from local farms, providing much-needed meals and support.
In what ways do you see our BBFBS campaign helping you reach your goals? Why/How?
Move For Hunger: All generous donations made through the BBFBS campaign will help us rescue more food, assist food banks with transportation, and provide meals for those in need. Every $100 helps our network deliver 300 pounds of food to food banks nationwide and in Canada, enabling us to provide 250 meals.
As you look back over the past few years, what changes have you seen in the need to reduce food waste and fight hunger?
Move For Hunger: Food waste has always been a huge issue in this country, as 40% of all food produced in the United States each year is lost or will go to waste. Meanwhile, 1 in 8 Americans is food insecure. Reducing national food waste by just 15% would provide enough food for more than 25 million people every year. We have seen more organizations become aware of the problem and teaming up to make a difference by becoming more sustainable, reducing food waste where they can, and educating others.
How has COVID-19 impacted your ability to provide support and fight hunger?
Move For Hunger: More than 37 million Americans were food insecure before the pandemic, with estimates saying that number has increased 17 million in 2020. One of the greatest strengths of the Move For Hunger network has always been its response in times of crisis. Whenever our communities find themselves in critical need of relief, our network’s support is nothing short of inspiring. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic impact and has drastically increased the need for emergency food assistance nationwide. With a fleet of trucks, experienced drivers, and crews capable of doing the heavy lifting, our network provides reliable transportation assistance and frees up resources for the food banks to use elsewhere. In 2020, Move For Hunger had its most impactful year yet, delivering more than 5 million pounds of food and providing more than 4 million meals to struggling families.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know?
Move For Hunger: On behalf of everyone at Move For Hunger, we truly appreciate your support and every donation means we can provide meals and hope to those in need. We wouldn’t be able to do the work we do without supporters like you, so a huge thank you to everyone who has participated or is planning to participate in this campaign!
The BBFBS campaign will run through April 15, 2021 and all GTN employees, families, and friends of the firm are encouraged to participate by growing their beards, braiding their hair, and raising awareness and funds for the families and communities in need. If you would like to make a donation to support the BBFBS campaign and Move For Hunger, please visit: https://give.classy.org/GTNFightsHunger.