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Never underestimate the power of kids and the force for good they can be.

More than 100 second-graders from Anna C. Scott Elementary School in Leonia donated 665 lbs. of fresh fruits and vegetables to Table to Table during a special assembly recently — enough food for dozens of individuals to enjoy.

The kids thought of Table to Table while developing a way of how they could have a positive impact on those around them. At first, they were just going to create posters about the need to donate food to a local nonprofit. But they realized they wanted to do more. They wanted to actually give something. They contacted Table to Table after researching local food-based nonprofits and connected with our mission of rescuing nutritious food to help feed our hungry neighbors.

“It became so much bigger than I anticipated it would. The students were amazing. I’m so proud of them,” said Vanessa Franceschini, a second grade teacher at the school.

Table to Table brought the produce to Never Alone Again Resource Center, a nonprofit domestic violence resource organization in Teaneck, where it was immediately distributed to community members.

“I’m so thankful for Table to Table because they are one of our main sources of fresh produce, vegetables and fruits, that our families can have right away,” said Theresa Johnston, CEO and Founder of Never Alone Again.

25 Million Pounds — And Counting

This rescue bring us closer to meeting this year’s goal of rescuing 25 million lbs. of nutritious food. For more information about Table to Table’s Drive for 25 initiative, visit https://tabletotable.org/drive-for-25/. Together, we can reduce food waste in our home and make a positive impact on the planet.

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Dr. Laurel Kearns of Drew University in New Jersey appears on this episode of Table Talk.

For this episode of Table Talk, Table to Table’s Volunteer Manager Stephanie Conley-Webb interviewed Dr. Laurel Kearns of Drew University. Dr. Kearns is associate professor of sociology of religion and environmental studies at Drew.

“What we don’t think about is what happens to what doesn’t get eaten. A tremendous food waste is that we only want to buy perfect things so things that aren’t perfect, just a generation or two ago would have been gladly eaten don’t even make it to our stores,” Kearns said.

For more Table Talk episodes, visit our YouTube channel.

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 North Jersey. We rescue millions of pounds of fresh food annually 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.

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.  

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Q & A With Table to Table’s Julie Kinner

Latest Blogs

Groups and individuals alike can help neighbors in need. Here are ways Bergenites can donate time, resources and supplies.

Remember when Mom used to scold you when you didn’t finish dinner? “There are starving kids who could’ve eaten that,” she’d remark after we tossed uneaten bread and veggies into the trash.

Mom’s message is partially behind the mission of global Stop Food Waste Day, April 24, a day that brings awareness of and promotes solutions to food waste. For example, did you know, 33 percent of all food produced globally is lost or wasted every single year? And just a quarter of the food wasted globally could be used to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world, says Compass Group USA, which started Stop Food Waste Day in 2017.

Locally, nonprofit groups like Saddle Brook-based Table to Table has been doing its part to help combat food waste. As one of its many initiatives, the organization collects fresh, nutritious and perishable food — from restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses — that would otherwise be discarded and wasted. Volunteers then deliver the food for free to groups that serve residents in need throughout Bergen County and neighboring communities.

Individual Efforts Help Too.

It’s not just companies that can help feed hungry neighbors —individuals also can get involved. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024, Table to Table recently launched its I-Rescue App, powered by Food Rescue Hero. The handy tech tool allows volunteers to help rescue and deliver fresh food to those facing food insecurity.

What are other ways you can help on Stop Food Waste Day (or any other day)? Table to Table has a checklist of 25 ways you can join the initiative. The list includes:

Those who want to and have the resources to help can also donate non-perishable items to Bergen County’s many food pantries and shelters. While giving usually happens around the end-of-year holidays, spring and summer are critical times because donations tend to drop off.

Credit: https://www.healthandlifemags.com/pitch-in-against-food-insecurity/

Michael Joyce, Table to Table's April Volunteer of the Month

Join us in congratulating Michael Joyce, Table to Table’s April Volunteer of the Month.

Michael has been volunteering with Table to Table since February of 2023.

“I love volunteering because it affords me the opportunity to provide service to those in need and to show appreciation for all the good things that have come into my life,” Michael said.

Now that you know who the April Volunteer is the Month is, you may be asking yourself: How do I sign up to volunteer? It’s easy!

Julie Kinner, Table to Table’s VP of Operations, gave an overview of how simple it is to become a volunteer, but here’s how in a nutshell. It’s super simple. Just download the Table to Table I-Rescue app on your phone to become a food rescue hero! You’ll complete a simple registration process and volunteer agreement, and then you can get started. The app walks you through every step! 

Since we launched, more than 350 volunteers have completed more than 9,600 rescues and delivered more than 2 million pounds of donated food that would have been thrown away.

We sat down and had a conversation with Vice President of Operations Julie Kinner, who keeps our trucks on the road and volunteers rescuing food, about the I-Rescue app, and how you can use it to help deliver nutritious food and help feed our neighbors in need.

Tell us about Table to Table I-Rescue 

Table to Table I-Rescue is an entirely volunteer-driven app that allows people to pick up nutritious food from grocery stores, restaurants, and events that would otherwise be wasted and deliver it to our recipient partners who then distribute it to our food-insecure neighbors. 

The idea of our App came about in 2020, when everyone was scrambling to provide the best solutions for the astronomically high hunger and food insecurity rates caused by Covid. We were contacted by the Russell Berrie Foundation, who shared with us some technology-based food rescue solutions they were seeing in other regions. After much research on the concept, Table to Table decided to partner with Pittsburgh-based Food Rescue Hero, a technology platform that enables a scalable impact on food waste, food insecurity, and climate change.

The Russell Berrie funded a grant for staff support and subsequent maintenance of the App. During this time, the Bergen County Food Access Task Force was also forming, and they stepped in to provide additional support. That’s how Table to Table I-Rescue was launched!

It’s been wildly successful! Since we launched, more than 350 volunteers have completed more than 9,600 rescues and delivered more than 2 million pounds of donated food that would have been thrown away.

How do I sign up to volunteer? 

It’s super simple. Just download the Table to Table I-Rescue app on your phone to become a food rescue hero! You’ll complete a simple registration process and volunteer agreement, and then you can get started. The app walks you through every step! 

Step 1: Download and Register 

Step 2: Claim a Rescue (Turn on notifications, and check the app daily for available rescues) 

Step 3: Pick up food within the designated time window (Address, contact person, and instructions are provided). 

Step 4: Travel to receiving organization (We do all the “pairing” so you’ll know exactly where you’re delivering to).  

Step 5: Deliver donation, and have someone at the recipient agency sign off on the delivery. Easy Peasy! 

What do I need to become a food rescue hero? 

You only need our Table to Table I-Rescue app downloaded onto your phone, a driver’s license, and an insured vehicle. We have high school students who are not able to drive yet but are asking their parents to drive for them. Families are signing up together and doing the rescues. Retired folks are taking on weekday rescues as part of daily errands and outings. It’s so great to receive pictures and stories from them. Each volunteer is truly impacted by the rescue and come back for more! 

Where can I find rescues and how can I claim one? 

All rescues are posted on our Table to Table I-Rescue app. You can find them on the “Available Rescues” tab, a map will be shown with one-time and weekly rescues, or you can switch to list view (in the upper right corner of the screen) to see available rescues in chronological order. Take a look at what works with your schedule and location, identify the rescue you’re interested in, click on “View Rescue” to see details, and then “Claim This Rescue.”   

What happens after I claim a rescue? 

All your claimed rescues will be moved to the “My Rescues” tab, which you can find on the top left hand-corner of the app. Once you are ready to begin the rescue you will click on “start,” then you will find all the necessary information to complete the rescue including address, points of contacts, estimated amounts, time, etc. The app will walk you through the whole process of your food rescue journey. But if you have any questions or face any issues you can call 551-255-6884. Please be aware that you can always go back to the “My Rescues” page to “Resume” your rescue if you leave the app for any reason. 

What is the difference between a “one-time” and “weekly” rescue? 

Weekly rescues occur on the same day, time, and frequency (i.e. every Monday at 10 am), and on the same route (donor and non-profit partner.) If you claim a weekly rescue as a volunteer, you can always request a “sub” if something comes up and you aren’t able to make it. 

One-time rescues or pop-up rescues occur on an as-needed basis. These are not at pre-determined days and times. When you claim a one-time rescue, you’re committing your time for that one rescue only. You can always check the app for more rescues. 

Can I volunteer just once, or will I need to commit to a schedule? 

You are free to volunteer as often or as little as you would like. If you don’t want to commit to a set schedule, you can claim a one-time rescue. If you would like a set schedule, then weekly rescues are the right fit for you. You can also request a sub if you can’t complete a rescue. 

Is there an age requirement to volunteer? 

Volunteers of all ages are welcome to volunteer in our food rescue program. However, the driver must have a valid driver’s license, and a valid vehicle registration and insurance. 

Do I need a large vehicle for food rescues?

No, a large vehicle is not required to complete a food rescue. Any car size is adequate to complete a food rescue. Before claiming a rescue, you can see the estimated amount of food that is being donated to help ensure your vehicle has the capacity to transport the donation. If you get to the donor location and there is too much food for your car, just let the app dispatcher know and we will schedule another rescue immediately. 

If I run into a problem on a food rescue, who can I contact?

You can contact Kharin at 551-255-6884 during the week, and on the weekends, contact Rosalia at 551-352-0354. The same contact information is also displayed in the app. 

We’re so excited for you to get started with Table to Table I-Rescue and join our growing team of Food Rescue Heroes! 

Food Rescue Hero, the organization that powers our I-Rescue app, hosted an informative webinar about reducing food waste recently. Stephanie Miller, author of “Zero Waste Living The 80/20 Way,” outlined practical steps you can start taking today to reduce the amount of food that gets thrown out in the average home.

Together, we can have a positive impact on the planet. By rescuing fresh, nutritious food that would otherwise go to a landfill, we are able to not only feed food insecure neighbors but also help the environment.

Forty percent of the United States’ food goes uneaten — that’s more than 220 pounds per person! By rescuing the excess food, we can provide countless meals for hungry children and families while preserving our environment. 

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.

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As a non-profit in NJ dedicated to food rescue, we are often asked to explain how we differ from a typical food bank.  Clearly we are not the same.  Allow us to explain….


Table to Table

Table to Table is unique because our sole focus is to pick up fresh and prepared excess food and deliver to places that feed the people in our neighborhood who are hungry.  This nutritious food is so important because it not only satiates, but as importantly, it is instrumental in keeping people healthy.

Table to Table works by teaming up with giving partners like Whole Foods, Shoprite, A&P and Pathmark as well as local restaurants and food distributors including Driscoll, General Trading and Auerpak.  Every day our refrigerated trucks pick up food that is still good, but that would otherwise be wasted at these businesses (likely due to risk of not selling in time) and we then deliver the food to our receiving partners. Some of these partners include Goodwill Rescue Mission, New Hope Baptist Church and Cresskill Food Pantry (for the full list, click here).

We also deliver this healthy food free of charge. Although some hunger relief agencies charge a fee, either for the food or its delivery, Table to Table does not. Food is picked up and delivered the day it is donated, avoiding the need for warehouse facilities and keeping Table to Table’s costs limited to the operation of the vehicles.  And the best part?  It enables agencies to use their meager food budget dollars for more of the essential services they alone provide.  For example, with the money it saved by purchasing less food for their clients, a shelter in Paterson built a computer lab to train their returning Vets.  With the money a senior center saved in Teaneck, they were able to build a wing of additional rooms to house eldercare clients.  And an after-school program in Newark used its savings to purchase hundreds of books for their 7th & 8th graders.  All while their recipients we’re receiving nutritious food like produce, whole grains and lean protein.

Lastly, by rescuing this excess nutritious food, we help to minimize the enormous amount of waste going into landfills.

 Food Banks

Typically, food banks collect donated food either through food drives, delivered donations or donations that they physically pick up. That food, consisting primarily of canned goods and other non-perishable items, is stored in a facility and then ultimately gets distributed to various organizations.   Although these packaged foods are a staple since they are a quick solution to alleviate hunger, they typically are not the best sources of the nutrient dense and vitamin rich foods that we all need in our diets.

Unlike Table to Table, many food banks throughout the country charge a fee to the receiving organizations.

In short, both types of organizations work diligently to feed the hungry men, women and children in their communities.  Table to Table’s commitment is to be a consistent, reliable and free source of the fresh nutritious food we all so desperately need to be able to develop, grow, learn, work and stay productive and healthy.

For more information on how we do what we do, visit “how we do it”.  If you know of an organization that would benefit, or your restaurant or store would like to donate to our food rescue program, contact us today. We enjoy and look forward to expanding our partners within the community.