NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A lot of things get thrown out when you move, including perfectly good food.
As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reports, one nonprofit has found a solution to that problem.
In a warehouse on Long Island, a food bank houses more than 1 million pounds of meals.
“This comes in and immediately gets put into the bin that says ‘peanut butter,'” Long Island Cares CEO Paule Pachter told Overmyer. “Then the volunteers can create 20-, 30-pound boxes of peanut butter.”
Those pallets get taken to various food pantries for distribution.
“Long Islanders are just responding in record numbers,” Pachter said.
Long Island Cares is a centralized hub of food collection and delivery. Since the pandemic, visitors have increased by 43%.
“There are close to 400,000 people living on Long Island that are struggling with food insecurity that are probably not going to enjoy a holiday meal with their families,” said Pachter.
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One supply chain of food comes from an unlikely source: Movers.
“All the movers love it. It’s just a way to give back that’s something so simple,” said Judd Levine, president of Maffucci Moving and Storage.
While packing up homes, the company has helped deliver thousands of pounds of food.
“We take the box, so we’re doing all the work, it’s not costing anyone any money. It’s just costing us time, which we’re more than happy to do,” Levine said.
Eighteen months ago, they joined with Move for Hunger, a nonprofit started by Adam Lowey. More than 1,000 movers nationwide have signed up to load and ship non-perishables to food banks.
“Give Adam a lot of credit to come up with this idea of all these people who are hungry and just a simple concept of, ‘Oh, I’m moving, there’s food in my pantry, let me give it to someone in need versus throwing it away,'” said Levine. “He’s always talked about the amount of food wastes that’s in this country and I think we all take it for granted. Not anymore.”
During the pandemic, food drives have been canceled and normal trucking deliveries have been put on hold, limiting supplies when they’re needed most.
“We know with what’s going on with corona, the amount of people that are going to need food,” Levine said. “It’s very simple just to give back and it’s also part of my business. How can I not do it?”
While packing a home, they leave room for a few special boxes bound for a different destination.
Waiting for them at Long Island Cares is a group of volunteers tasked with sorting.
“This is a very big crisis in America, and unfortunately, we’re delayed in our response. We need to come together as a country and get the job done here,” said Pachter.
“It’s like a grassroots stimulus,” Overmyer said.
“In many ways, yes,” Pachter said.
Families are just looking for their own seat at the table.
“There’s just such need at this point in time and so much uncertainty … We’re providing an opportunity right now for people to survive,” said Pachter. “Long Island wants to lift their neighbors up, not keep them down. This is the result of people caring.”