While most people know that there are hungry people around the world and that homelessness is pervasive in some regions, many are unaware of what is going on within their own community. Did you know that in New Jersey, in 2012, there were 114,000 children under the age of five living in poverty? Did you know that one-third of New Jersey residents do not earn enough to afford basic necessities, including food?
What does it mean to be food insecure? The most common definition of food insecurity is a person who does not know where their next meal will come from. According to the USDA, 15.9 million children are food insecure. How does that translate to the people Table to Table helps?
It might be surprising to learn how many food insecure people are living within the four counties our not-for-profit feeds. According to Map the Meal Gap 2013 (Feeding America):
In Hudson County, 16.9% of the population, which includes over 31,000 children, is food insecure
In Essex County, 19.6% of the population, which includes 35,000 children, is food insecure
In Passaic County, 15.3% of the population, which includes nearly 30,000 children, is food insecure
And in Bergen County, 9.9% of the population, which includes 29,000 children, is food insecure
The great thing about Table to Table is that we rescue food that would otherwise be discarded (but is still in date and 100% healthy) and bring it directly to the people who need it most, right here in this area. No warehousing, no sorting, no fuss. Food is picked up and delivered on the same day. In some cases, it is on the plate of a hungry child that very same night. We do this at the internal cost of only 10 cents/meal, making us one of the most cost-effective hunger relief organizations in the country.
In 2013 alone, Table to Table rescued enough food to provide more than 11 million meals. In 2014, we will provide 13 million meals. Along with the satisfaction of bringing millions of nutritious meals to our hungry neighbors is the joy of knowing that this food is not only nourishing, but is also the key to their ability to develop and learn and stay healthy.
The main ingredient to our success, however, is those who volunteer, donate and contribute to this important work. To find out more about what we are doing to make a difference in our community, please visit our “How we Help” page.
Did you know that according to the National Resources Defense Council, Americans throw out about 40% of the edible food produced, which amounts to roughly $165 billion in waste per year? That number might seem a bit shocking, but it is true. On a positive note, Table to Table has made a commitment to rescue edible, excess food and ensure that is accessible to the people who are hungry in northeast New Jersey, for as long as our help is needed. It is our mission and more importantly, it is our privilege to do so.
Table to Table helps our struggling neighbors answer the question of where their next meal will come from. To find out how you can join us and become a part of the solution, check out our donation options.