STAMFORD, Conn. -- The need for emergency food has doubled in volume in the past five years, according to The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. A Stamford moving company, in partnership with a New Jersey nonprofit organization, is doing its part to help solve the growing food insecurity concern.
Since 2013, Kaster Moving Company of Stamford has donated 2,250 pounds of food to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County and the Connecticut Food Bank. In the past four years, the 40-year-old business has provided enough food to provide 1,850 meals for their neighbors in need.
- Who : Kaster Moving Company, Stamford
- What : In partnership with Move For Hunger of New Jersey, collects food from clients who are relocating
- Did you know? 20 percent of children in Connecticut are hungry or at risk of hunger
The company works with Move For Hunger, based in Asbury Park, N.J., to obtain food from people who are moving. Move For Hunger works with more than 700 moving companies in the United States, but Kaster is the only one in Lower Fairfield County. Crown Relocations World Mobility of Danbury and Shepard’s of Bethel are the only other Fairfield County moving companies to partner with Move For Hunger.
“It didn’t take much to sell us on it,’’ said Gail Carey, a relocation coordinator for Kaster. “When our sales people go out, they explain what the program is and what we’re trying to accomplish. We’ll remind them again when we send them their confirmation documents. We bring a box for the shipper to pack any unwanted food and deliver it to the Food Bank. It is just down the road so it’s convenient for us to drop it off."
Move For Hunger was founded in 2009 by Adam Lowy, whose family owned a New Jersey moving company for nearly a century. He found that when people move, they frequently throw out perfectly good food.
“What bothered us is the amount of non-perishable food that was getting thrown away,’’ Lowy said. “We wanted to change that and people got really excited about it. The goal of Move For Hunger is to mobilize this industry and give them a simple way to give back.”
More than 700 companies across the United States and Canada now work with Move For Hunger. A Norwalk woman, Theresa Paulovic, worked with Kaster to arrange for a moving van to come to her house and invited people to donate food. Paulovic has hosted the van for the past two years, and last November collected more than 1,000 pounds of food.
“It’s a terrific idea because in moving, weight is what costs you,’’ Carey said. “Instead of spending money on moving or throwing food away, you can give it to someone who needs it here.”
“It’s an easy way to give back,’’ Lowy added. “We’re proud that we’re able to keep the impact local. Since we started we’ve collected over seven million pounds of food.”
The need for food is astonishing, even in wealthy Fairfield County. According to The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, 20 percent of children in Connecticut are hungry or at risk of hunger. The high cost of housing in Fairfield County frequently forces families to choose between paying rent or purchasing food, even for two-income households.
“People want to give,’’ Lowy said. “They want to do good, regardless of their socio-economic status. If you can make it easy, people will do it. I can see in the communities we are in, people are excited about doing good.”