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Letter to the Editor

It’s no secret that more of our neighbors are struggling to put food on the table, in the wake of so many challenges these last few years. Covid, inflation and rising housing costs have made it difficult for so many people to make ends meet- and healthy food is often the first thing to get sacrificed by families trying to stretch every dollar.

At the same time, billions of pounds of nourishing food are thrown away each year in New Jersey alone.

The problem with hunger isn’t a lack of food in our world, our country, or our state. There is enough food to go around. Enough for every person who isn’t sure where their next meal will come from, every parent who skimps on groceries so they can pay rent and keep the lights on, every kid who goes to school without breakfast. We simply need to get the healthy food to where it is most needed.

As New Jersey’s first food rescue, Table to Table does exactly that- ensuring hundreds of thousands of our neighbors have access to fresh, nutritious food, and helping the planet at the same time, by keeping food out of landfills.

And we certainly don’t do it alone. It’s a collaborative process. Our fleet of refrigerated trucks is out on the road all week long, along with our incredible and growing team of volunteers who use our I-Rescue App. Our drivers and volunteers pick up fresh food from generous donors, including grocers throughout northern New Jersey like Trader Joe’s (Westwood), Wegmans (Montvale), Whole Foods Market (Woodcliff Lake), ShopRite (Emerson), and Kins and ShopRite (Hillsdale).

Once picked up from these locations, the fresh, nutritious food is delivered directly to pantries, shelters and group homes, and other nonprofit partners embedded in our communities. We provide food in Westwood at St. Andrews, Parkside Community, Connex4NPO, and the Annie Clyde Holt Food Pantry. We also provide fresh and perishable food to Children’s Aid & Family Services Group Homes in both Park Ridge and Montvale.

These are just a few of the amazing food donors and partner agencies that have contributed to the impact that Table to Table has made since our inception 25 years ago.

On the first weekend in 1999, with a single borrowed van and a few compassionate staff members and volunteers, we set out to not only rescue and deliver food, but to nourish the body, mind, and soul. Today- more than 311 million meals later- we continue to rescue and deliver fresh foods that help people live healthier lives, bring back memories of home-cooked meals from childhood, and help people feel cared for- that’s when we know we’re truly making a difference.

As Table to Table celebrates its 25th Anniversary, we want to share our deep gratitude with our donors, partners, volunteers, and staff. And we want to invite you to celebrate this milestone with us, by helping us meet our goal of rescuing and delivering enough food for 25 million meals this year.

You can volunteer to be a “Food Rescue Hero” through our I-Rescue App. You can donate, knowing that every dollar you give supports the rescue and delivery of 10 healthy meals. You can attend an event and connect in person with our growing community of supporters. Join our Drive for 25, www.tabletotable.org/drive-for-25 to learn how you can help keep our impact going and growing. Lets end food waste, and end hunger for our neighbors- together!

Heather Thomspson,
Executive Director
Table to Table

Credit: https://issuu.com/thepressgroup/docs/pascack_press_4.15.24?fr=sMGJjODYzMDE3MTA

It was in this week in 1999 that an effort to feed the hungry launched in North Jersey. Table to Table has made a tremendous impact in the Garden State 25 years later.

The group organized an Easter dinner ham drive this week at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange. Over the last 25 years, the group was responsible for offering 311 million meals in northern New Jersey.

The group now has an app to make food donation, collection and volunteering easy.

More information can be found HERE.

Credit: https://newjersey.news12.com/jersey-proud-charity-table-to-table-celebrates-25-years-serving-the-community

Table to Table, NJ’s First Food Rescue, Celebrates 25 Years of Nourishing Communities, Reducing Food Waste, and Improving the Well Being of Food Insecure Neighbors

March 26, 2024 – Saddle Brook, NJTable to Table, New Jersey’s first food rescue, celebrates 25 years of nourishing communities, reducing food waste, and improving the well-being of food insecure neighbors. What began in 1999 with one food rescue in a donated van, has flourished to become an efficient and impactful operation and a force for change that—to date—has resulted in the rescue and delivery of enough food for over 311 million healthy meals throughout northern New Jersey. To mark this milestone, the nonprofit has set a goal of rescuing/delivering enough fresh food for 25 million meals this year, via its fleet of 6 trucks and volunteer-based app, Table to Table I-Rescue. Visit Table to Table’s “Drive for 25” for 25 fun, easy and actionable ways to celebrate and drive impact!

“We’re incredibly proud of the impact we’ve made throughout our 25 years, ensuring healthy food does not go to waste and nourishing the hearts, minds and bodies of our neighbors in need” said Heather Thompson, Executive Director, Table to Table. “This all started two and a half decades ago thanks to the drive and dedication of our founder, Claire Insalata Poulos, and a small group of amazing individuals who stepped up to help. They saw good food being wasted, and they saw too many people who were struggling, and they were determined to do something about it. They started something that nobody else in New Jersey was doing at the time, and to this day we are still the largest fresh food rescue nonprofit in the State,” Thompson added.

“Every day, we continue to build on the strong foundation they created,” Thompson continued. “We are able to make a difference right here, right now in our own communities, thanks to their vision and to our donors, partners, and volunteers who make our work possible,” Thompson added. “As we celebrate this milestone and look to the future, we invite everyone to check out our “Drive for 25” to find 25 special ways you can support our mission–there’s something for everyone, and every action adds up to a huge impact,” Thompson concluded.

Table to Table’s “Drive for 25” was designed not only to provide a snapshot of the organization’s pivotal moments throughout the past 25 years, but also to offer a variety of 25 ways to celebrate this momentous time. You can choose to support Table to Table’s mission by learning how to reduce food waste in your home, volunteering, attending or hosting an event, getting your company or school involved, or even downloading an amazing playlist to inspire you as you drive to your next food rescue!

To help Table to Table in their mission to reduce food waste and address food insecurity in New Jersey, you can make a donation today – every dollar you contribute provides resources for the organization to rescue and deliver food for 10 healthy meals. For more information on Table to Table, visit www.tabletotable.org.

About Table to Table

Table to Table (http://www.tabletotable.org), NJ’s first food rescue organization, collects fresh and perishable food which would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve people experiencing hunger in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Passaic counties in Northern NJ. We bring rescued fresh, nutritious food to 200+ partner organizations including social service organizations, pantries, shelters, fresh produce markets and centralized distribution hubs. Food is provided free of charge. Through this, we touch a diversity of those in need, including families, children, veterans, and older adults, making good nutrition accessible while serving as a stimulus for other longer-term benefits. Table to Table raises all its own funds annually, and last year delivered enough food to provide over 23 million meals.

Press Contact:

Maria Sinopoli, Director of Marketing Communications

msinopoli@tabletotable.org

Table to Table, a local non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing fresh, healthy food and delivering it to those who need it most, has received a $75,000 grant from Bank of America (BofA). The organization tells Pascack Press the grant will “help feed more hungry neighbors while improving economic mobility in Northern New Jersey.”

Table to Table collects fresh and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it, free of charge, to more than 200 partner organizations that serve hungry people in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Passaic Counties through a network of fresh produce markets and centralized distribution hubs.

Among the participants: Children’s Aid and Family Services’ group homes in Montvale and Park Ridge. And in Westwood, through the Table to Table I-Rescue app, Table to Table delivers fresh, nutritious food to Annie Clyde Holt Food Pantry, Parkside Community Church, and St. Andrew’s Church.

“The tremendous support of Bank of America allows us to establish and grow innovative programs to feed even more hungry neighbors such as the Table to Table I-Rescue App, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and I-Rescue Lunch,” said Denise Anderson, Table to Table’s executive director. “We appreciate BofA’s generous support and continued investment in our Northern NJ community.”

The grant is part of Bank of America’s philanthropic giving efforts in local communities. Awardees were selected for their commitment to addressing basic needs and workforce development for individuals and families.

Alberto Garofalo, Bank of America New Jersey’s president, said in a statement, “Since 1999, Table to Table has reached deep into communities in need to deliver fresh, healthy food to no/low-income families. We are excited to support them in their continued efforts to eliminate food insecuirty.”

For more information visit tabletotable.org/i-rescue

Credit: Pascack Press

Harrison Elementary School in Livingston received Table to Table’s 2023 Bernard and Geraldine Segal Foundation for Student Philanthropy for their outstanding fundraising efforts in support of the Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch initiative. The students’ dedication helped raise $1,459.54 to reduce food waste and provide 14,600 meals to food-insecure neighbors in Northern NJ. The initiative invited participants to donate what they would spend on lunch for a day, week, month or more to help Table to Table reduce food waste and feed those who need it most.

Tablet to Table’s Executive Director, Heather Thompson, commended the students for their community leadership and recognized their remarkable impact on addressing food insecurity. Thanks to a challenge grant from the Bernard and Geraldine Segal Foundation, the funds raised by Harrison Elementary School and other participating schools were generously doubled, amplifying their contribution to the cause. For more information go to: tabletotable.org/bagalunch

Credit: https://issuu.com/vicinity/docs/01-71_essex_0324se_lr

Every one of us has, at some point, opened our refrigerator to find leftover food from meals prepared earlier in the week. Our first reaction is typically a pang of guilt at the sight of the limp green beans, dry chicken or wilted lettuce. The feeling of guilt is valid. Food waste is a big issue – but the good news is that there are easy ways we can all reduce it right in our own homes. Read on for some tips on how you can get started today! 

Plan, Plan, Plan 

The first step to reducing food waste is to make sure you’re buying what you really need at the grocery store and that means you should focus on meal planning. It sounds like a chore, but it’s truly a game-changer. Simply take a few minutes at the start of the week to plan out your meals. This way, you buy only what you need at the grocery store and avoid those impulse purchases that often end up going to waste. And, by following a recipe and making a grocery list, you can purchase the proper quantities of ingredients, so your food gets used. Plus, it can save you money in the long run and that’s a win-win! 

Leftovers Reimagined! 

Next, make a point of having an evening devoted especially to finishing any leftovers. Instead of letting them droop in the back of the fridge, try folding them into new meals. Got some roasted veggies from last night’s dinner? Throw them into an omelet for breakfast or a salad for lunch. Leftover chicken? Shred it up and make tacos or toss it into a stir-fry. Get creative and see what delicious dishes you can come up with!  

Storage is Key 

Another easy way to reduce food waste is to properly store your food using good quality storage containers. Explore the best way to store different types of produce to keep them fresh for as long as possible – learn what goes on the counter, what belongs in bags, what should or shouldn’t be pre-washed. And don’t forget about your freezer. Many foods can be frozen for later use, like bread, meat, and pasta. Remember to label your containers so the contents and the date when you prepared and froze them are clearly listed.  

Compost 

Another great way to reduce food waste is to compost. Instead of tossing those fruit and veggie scraps into the trash where they’ll just end up in a landfill, you can turn them into nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Composting is easier than you might think, and it’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact while beautifying your garden. 

While reducing food waste at home, you can also support your neighbors – and your planet – by getting involved with Table to Table! As New Jersey’s first and largest food rescue, our mission is to reduce food waste and provide nourishment to our food-insecure neighbors throughout Northern New Jersey. Each year, we rescue millions of pounds of fresh food that would otherwise be wasted and deliver it to partner organizations who support the nearly 1 million people in our area who need it most. Visit us at www.tabletotable.org to learn how you can get involved as a supporter, a “Food Rescue Hero” volunteer, and more. 

Together, we can reduce food waste in our home and make a positive impact on the planet. Every little bit of effort—no matter how small–leads to change.  

By: Matt Trapani and Kurt Siegelin

There is a charity program in New Jersey called “Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch.” School kids around the Garden State are not only raising awareness about food insecurity but doing something about it.

Students at Harrison Elementary School in Livingston are the top fundraiser in the state for the charity Table to Table. They raised enough money for 14,600 meals.

The kids handed over a check for $1,500. By doing so, they earned the Segal Foundation Award for student philanthropy.

Funds Raised Help Reduce Food Waste and Deliver Enough Food for 14,600 Meals to Food Insecure Neighbors

Saddle River, NJ February 8, 2024 — Table to Table, New Jersey’s first food rescue organization, recognizes the students at Harrison Elementary School in Livingston, NJ with the 2023 Bernard and Geraldine Segal Foundation Award for Student Philanthropy in support of Table to Table’s Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch initiative, which invites participants to donate what they would spend on lunch for a day, week, month or more to help Table to Table reduce food waste and feed those who need it most.

“The power harnessed by these Harrison Elementary students to be true community heroes – reducing food waste, while also feeding thousands of New Jersey neighbors facing food insecurity – is nothing short of incredible,” said Heather Thompson, Executive Director, Table to Table. “With this impressive level of community leadership, the future is truly bright. Table to Table is thrilled to recognize their tremendous efforts with the 2023 Bernard and Geraldine Segal Foundation Award for Student Philanthropy,” Thompson concluded.

Through the kindness of The Bernard and Geraldine Segal Foundation, a challenge grant of $30,000 among all Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch participating schools in Northern NJ was established. Of the dozens of schools that participated in 2023, Harrison Elementary School was the top fundraiser. The funds they raised will rescue and deliver enough food for 14,600healthymeals for those in need throughout Northern NJ. That number, along with funds raised by the other schools, was generously doubled by the Bernard and Geraldine Segal Foundation.

“Preserving the environment and reducing food insecurity are two incredibly important issues to the students of Harrison Elementary and the reason we have been an ongoing supporter of Table to Table’s Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch,” said Ms. Sara Calabrese, co-advisor for student council and a teacher at Harrison Elementary School.

“Our Student Council played a critical role in mobilizing the student body to support the program. The results are impressive, and we are all honored to be recognized for our efforts,” added Ms. Stephanie Siu, co-advisor for student council and teacher at Harrison Elementary School.

Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch is made possible by generous sponsors includingPresenting Sponsors: BD andInserra Supermarkets; Gold Sponsor: Kearny Bank; Silver Sponsors: Aspen, Cross River Bank, Firmenich Charitable Foundation, Takasago and The Children’s Place; Bronze Sponsors: DoorDash, Freedom Bank, Movado, and PNC Bank.

To help Table to Table in their mission to reduce food waste and address food insecurity in New Jersey, Donate Now! For more information on Table to Table, visit us at www.tabletotable.org.

About Table to Table

Table to Table (http://www.tabletotable.org), NJ’s first food rescue organization, collects fresh and perishable food which would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve people experiencing hunger in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Passaic counties in Northern NJ. We bring rescued fresh, nutritious food to 200+ partner organizations including, social service organizations, pantries, shelters, fresh produce markets and centralized distribution hubs. Food is provided free of charge. Through this, we touch a diversity of those in need, including families, children, veterans, and older adults, making good nutrition accessible while serving as a stimulus for other longer-term benefits. Table to Table raises all its own funds annually, and last year delivered enough food to provide over 23 million meals.

Press Contact:

Maria Sinopoli, Director of Marketing Communications

917-532-6148 msinopoli@tabletotable.org

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Table to Table, New Jersey’s first food rescue organization, is recognizing Livingston’s Harrison Elementary School in Livingston with the 2023 Bernard and Geraldine Segal Foundation Award for Student Philanthropy after students raised enough funds to create 14,600 meals as part of Table to Table’s “Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch” initiative.

According to the organization, Harrison Elementary School was the top fundraiser out of dozens that participated in this initiative, which invites students to donate what they would spend on lunch for a day, week, month or more to help Table to Table reduce food waste and feed those who need it most.

“The power harnessed by these Harrison Elementary students to be true community heroes—reducing food waste, while also feeding thousands of New Jersey neighbors facing food insecurity—is nothing short of incredible,” said Heather Thompson, executive director at Table to Table. “With this impressive level of community leadership, the future is truly bright.”

Harrison Elementary School teacher Sara Calabrese, who also serves as student council co-advisor, explained that the school has been an ongoing supporter of Table to Table’s Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch initiative because “preserving the environment and reducing food insecurity are two incredibly important issues to the students of Harrison Elementary.”

“Our Student Council played a critical role in mobilizing the student body to support the program,” said fellow teacher and co-advisor Stephanie Siu. “The results are impressive, and we are all honored to be recognized for our efforts.”

Table to Table collects fresh and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve people experiencing hunger in Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Passaic counties.

According to the organization, the funds raised through Harrison Elementary School will rescue and deliver enough food for 14,600 healthy meals for those in need throughout Northern New Jersey. 

The Bernard and Geraldine Segal Foundation—which established a challenge grant of $30,000 among all Bag a Lunch, Help a Bunch participating schools in Northern New Jersey—has since doubled all funds raised during the 2023 initiative.

Additional sponsors of this mission included: Presenting Sponsors BD and Inserra Supermarkets; Gold Sponsor Kearny Bank; Silver Sponsors Aspen, Cross River Bank, Firmenich Charitable Foundation, Takasago and The Children’s Place; and Bronze Sponsors DoorDash, Freedom Bank, Movado and PNC Bank. To learn more or to make a contribution, visit www.tabletotable.org.

Credit: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/livingston/sections/education/articles/livingston-s-harrison-elementary-school-earns-award-after-raising-funds-for-14-600-meals