BK Magazine BK Currents
Posted by Jacquelyn Ottman.
Jacquelyn is the founder of J. Ottman Consulting, Inc., which helps businesses develop and market the next generation of products designed with sustainability in mind.
Traveling through India with a ripped bag and worn out shoes was the first time my perception of waste was challenged. I was thrilled to toss away my holey shoes until the handiwork of thrifty street entrepreneurs caught my attention. They presented another option. For a few rupees, I handed over my soon to be garbage and stood agape as new soles were cobbled and special stitches woven to make my shoes firm and my bag as reliable as ever.
With a few simple (yet adept) movements my potential trash became a renewed source of value. My perspective was shifted, and so began my upward spiral into the anti-waste movement – with a particularly passionate focus on minimizing food waste.
As Director of Operations, I have seen first hand the impact that a shift in perspective paired with a simple solution can create. Move For Hunger is a hunger relief non-profit organization that partners with movers, realtors, and relocation professionals to collect unwanted non-perishable food during a move, and deliver it directly to a local food bank. We provide support to encourage our socially responsible partners to make food collection part of their normal business process.
Step 1 – Mover is hired for a residential move or a company relocation
Step 2 – During the moving process, the Mover gives the client personalized Move For Hunger materials to educate client about the local need and how to become part of the solution
Step 3 – Client gives the mover any unopened, non-perishable food that would otherwise be wasted
Step 4 – Mover delivers the donated food to a local food bank
Step 5 – Move For Hunger shares & reports the awesome work done by the company and the positive impact made within the community
Move For Hunger transforms moving day into an opportunity to reduce food waste and feed the hungry. During the relocation process, customers that would otherwise toss food away are now encouraged to simply put it aside and have it donated to a local food bank.
Since its start 5 years ago, Move For Hunger has rescued over 4,300,000 pounds of nonperishable food. This success is due to our partnership with over 600 Movers, thousands of Realtors, and major relocation professionals spanning all 50 states and Canada. It’s a noteworthy feat I’m always more than ready to brag about.
Many people want to help, they just don’t know why or how (and with the how, the simpler the better). The Move For Hunger process is a simple addition to something that already exists. Educating the client on a problem then giving them the tools to make a difference makes the process simple and easy. We’ve seen this with a variety of large (and small) scale initiatives across the country. Once it becomes apparent that people struggling to have food on their table can be helped in a direct and simple way, more hunger fighting opportunities begin to spring forth.
Here are a few events that epitomize the Move For Hunger perspective shift:
Mergenthaler’s began as an actively engaged awesome Move For Hunger mover. However, they didn’t stop there. They decided to take Montana by storm by hosting the largest food drive Fill-A-Truck in the state and have been going strong since 2013! A Fill-A-Truck is when a truck is parked outside of a grocery store with the goal of filling it with food to donate locally. They filled 4 trucks with donated food and were able to collect over 15,000 pounds of food for families during the holiday season!
With our home base in Asbury Park, NJ it only makes sense to rile up a bit of good spirited competition among our socially inclined partners. The Real Estate Fall Food Fight was a one month event that vied our Real Estate partners against one another to collect $500 and 500 lbs of food. Our Real Estate Program is focused on education and awareness as realtors educate their clients about the local need and then encourage them to donate during the move. Another example that reminding the client how an easy shift in actions (to donate not discard) can spark massive change.
Xavier, a passionate high school student, has donated his birthday for the past 5 years to raise food for his community. A major benefit of having an incredible fleet of socially responsible movers is that they are willing to donate their time to help support food drives. Move For Hunger can drop off collection boxes before the event, pick-up the donations after the event, take them to a food bank and report back the total amount that was collected. We do all the heavy lifting – and we’re thrilled when individuals and companies take advantage of this to become Hunger Fighting Heroes in their communities!
What makes each of these events so powerful is that they encourage a company or an individual to have a perspective shift. Viewing cans as nothing more than added weight to discard is instead transformed into an opportunity to provide valuable nutrition for a neighbor in need. The shift can lead to more food donations (which we love) or even permeate into other walks of life. A company may transform its culture by adding food drives and community engagement as part of their primary success metrics. An individual may be more apt to help knowing that you don’t have to solve the whole problem to make a tremendous difference.
Simple examples like being more mindful while food shopping, fixing your zipper rather than throwing away your jacket, even squeezing a few extra uses out of your toothpaste tube, are all benefits that come from a shifted perspective. As long as we can continue to find new ways to share that value with others, we’ll make our lives (not to mention the world) brighter and more remarkable. Please share your suggestions on how to add a simple step to a process to add value and benefit others.
Do you know any movers, realtors, runners, or friends that want to get involved? Check us out and become a part of the Move For Hunger Team!
Posting Guideline – Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors and implies no endorsement by WeHateToWaste. Stories published on WeHateToWaste.com are intended to prompt productive conversations about practical solutions for preventing waste.