With the start of the new year, it’s pretty typical for many people to make a resolution to help get the year off to a great start. Some make a commitment to do things like “work out more” or “make better financial decisions”. Others make the pledge to “quit smoking”. Or maybe do a few more good deeds for others. Now wouldn’t that feel nice?
Last January, a survey was conducted to determine the most common resolution for the New Year. Ever wonder? It turned out to be the choice to eat healthier or lose weight. For most of us, when it comes to fulfilling this commitment, we gear up and head straight to the food store where the healthy options are plentiful. We choose fruits, vegetables, protein and whatever else we need to keep our hungry bellies satisfied in the coming weeks. We commit to “stick to it” because it’s the choice we’ve made to do our body better and we know that when we eat good, we feel good.
But let’s put this one in perspective. Our resolutions reflect a choice. It’s a choice we can make, or break. And while we do our best to become our better selves, there are many who simply can’t. They don’t have the choice to decide if they are going to start the year off right by eating better because they don’t know when their next meal will be. Or what it will be. Being hungry means more than just missing a meal. It can be debilitating. It causes suffering, poor health and slows the progress in many other areas of development, like learning and productivity. Table to Table’s mission to rescue fresh and nutritious meats, produce, and dairy products that would otherwise be wasted not only feeds, but also improves the health and development of hungry people of all ages.
More than 1 million people in New Jersey do not have enough to eat. But for many of these people in our region, they can resolve to eat food that provides the vitamins and nutrients that will not only stave off hunger, but illness and diseases as well that worsen due to the lack of nutritious, fresh food. Every day Table to Table rescues fresh, wholesome food that otherwise would have been discarded and delivers it to not-for-profit organizations that feed hungry people in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, and Essex counties. Deliveries are made to a wide range of organizations such as daycare centers, pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, programs for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, senior adult centers, substance abuse rehabilitation centers, and programs assisting the working poor. One shelter in Hoboken has told us that “there is no one that is served who wouldn’t choose a banana over a doughnut.” A satiating choice that provides our body with the fuel it needs to do our best work.
Let’s start the new year off and resolve to do better. Feel good knowing that you have that choice to make. And while making improvements in your own lifestyle, consider our most vulnerable neighbors and how when we work together we can make their new year a healthier one too!