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A “move” to fight hunger helps millions who struggle

By Lisa Anderson

This year, my husband and I began the “maybe we should move” talk … kids are grown, who needs all this room, fewer stairs, etc. However, the thought of having to go through years of accumulated “stuff” sends me into a panic attack — and that’s just the garage!

“Moving is a very stressful process,” says Adam Lowy, founder and executive director of Moveforhunger.org, a nonprofit organization in Asbury Park.

And if anyone knows the moving business it’s Adam, whose father and uncle still run Lowy’s Moving Service in Neptune. The business was started by Adam’s great-grandfather more than 90 years ago.

Adam didn’t always work in the family business. After college, he worked in marketing and special events for Mercedes-Benz in northern New Jersey.

Eventually, Adam joined the family’s moving business and soon began to notice that many people wound up throwing out perfectly good non-perishable food during their move.

“People have so much going on when they move that they often forget about the food sitting in the cabinets until the last minute. But I got sick and tired of seeing so much food go to waste, when I knew there were many families in our area who were struggling,” he said.

Adam knew he had to figure out a plan, so he decided to start simple.

“By asking folks one simple question — ‘What are you going to do with your canned goods?’ — we were able to collect 300 pounds of food that first month, which we brought to a local food pantry” Adam said.

That simple question was the beginning of moveforhunger.org, a nonprofit organization that, seven years later, has collected more than six million pounds of food and fed more than five million people.

“We plan to add another two million pounds of food to that number by the end of this year; we are so proud that we have now partnered with over 650 professional moving companies across 50 states plus Canada,” Adam said.

“We help organize hundreds of food drives and distribute educational materials to teach companies how to get involved with moveforhunger. I’m very excited at the growth we have seen, it’s not just people who are moving, it’s really anyone who would like to get involved with us to help the people in their community,” he added.

Holding a food drive at a school, a company, or even a college is a big part of helping the more than 50 million people in our country who struggle with hunger, including 17 million who are children. That is a staggering statistic considering that 40 percent of the food we produce winds up in landfills.

Adam and his team of nine employees and hard-working interns help with food drives, creating fliers, tips, and providing a free truck at the end of a drive.

“We do the heavy lifting for you. We are now working with food banks and pantries across the counties, like the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Lunchbreak and Ocean County Hunger Relief, to name a few,” Adam told me.

“The beauty of moveforhunger is that wherever we are, that is where the food goes. If we are in San Diego, your food goes to the San Diego Food Pantry. If we are moving a family in Chicago, the food will go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. It’s really about helping people in their local communities and connecting the dots in order to make that happen,” he said.

Moveforhunger.org has taken Adam to almost every state.

“I’ve got six states left to go!” he said.

He is on the road quite a bit, traveling about 15 weeks a year, but recently managed to make time for a very important trip.

“Yes, I am thrilled to say my wife Liz and I recently got married and were able to travel to Thailand for our honeymoon. The best trip by far!” he said.

Adam, who grew up in Ocean County and enjoys playing piano, says his favorite time of the year is summer at the Jersey Shore.

“What’s not to love? There are so many great places to go, cool things to do, the sun, the beaches, and if I’m really lucky, catch a Bruce Springsteen concert,” he said.

Adam, who was nominated for the N.J. Hero Award and placed second last year, is determined to make his organization nationally known.

“In 10 years, we want to be fighting hunger across the world. We made it across 50 states and Canada, and we have plans to begin pilot programs in other nations, along with self-moving companies like U-Haul and Penske. We want to be the organization people go to when they want to help fight hunger,” he said.

Adam smiled and said, “My dad, my uncle and my entire family is so proud and have embraced moveforhunger.org, as well as the entire relocation community.

And to think it all started with one simple question.”

To meet the staff, find a mover, or be a part of the fight against hunger, visit the website moveforhunger.org

Lisa Anderson is a Greater Media radio personality and columnist. She may be reached a landerson@gmnews.com



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