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Angel Organizations of the Month

Table to Table

Table to Table is a community-based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve the hungry in Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Passaic counties in New Jersey. This fresh food is delivered free of charge to nearly 50 agencies throughout the area, including elder care facilities, drug rehab centers, homeless shelters, homes for victims of domestic violence, HIV day centers, and pantries serving the "working poor."

Table to Table is the first and only food rescue program in Northeast New Jersey solely dedicated to redistributing prepared and perishable foods. In 2006 we delivered enough food for more than 4,800,000 meals.

Believe it or not, people in these very wealthy counties go to bed hungry. Every day Table To Table picks up fresh, wholesome food that otherwise would have been discarded, and deliver it safely to soup kitchens, homeless shelters and centers that serve meals to the hungry.

What is Typically Donated to Table To Table?

With three refrigerated vehicles and dedicated drivers, Table to Table picks up food that is unable to be sold, but still of good quality, from a wide range of food establishments each day. This food is delivered on the day it is donated, avoiding the need for warehouse facilities and keeping Table To Table's costs limited to the operation of the vehicles.

How is Hunger Defined?

  • The uneasy or painful sensation caused by a prolonged lack of food.
  • The recurrent and involuntary lack of access to food.

What is Food Insecurity?

  • Limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate food.
  • Limited or uncertain ability to acquire suitable foods in socially acceptable ways.

Who is Hungry?

  • The vast majority of people who suffer from the effects of hunger are children, senior adults and women. While the number of senior adults who do not have enough food to eat continues to grow, children have just replaced adults as our poorest citizens.
  • When food is limited, it is often the woman in the household who suffers from the greatest hunger, depriving themselves of nutritionally adequate foods so that it is available for their children and husbands.
  • Over 36 million people (approximately 13% of all Americans) live in hungry and food insecure households. More than 36% of the individuals living in these households are children.
  • 12.6 million households which include 13 million children are food insecure. This accounts for over 11% of all American households.
  • Over 45% of all food insecure households have incomes above 130% of the poverty level (currently $18,660 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children).
  • Households experiencing hunger did so for 8 or more months during the year.
  • Approximately 3.5 million households receive emergency food from a food pantry, church or food bank during the course of a year.

The Number of Hungry People in our Community Continues to Grow

  • The number of Americans who are hungry is now 25% higher than four years ago - an increase of more than 5 million people.
  • In the past year there has been a 28% increase in the request for emergency food at the agencies reporting these statistics.
  • More people are experiencing hunger in their communities than assistance is available. 24% of emergency food providers turned away requests for food, primarily due to a lack of resources.

The Effects of Hunger are Debilitating and Longlasting

  • Poor nutrition at any stage in life, even before birth, can have permanent effects on learning ability.
  • Hunger affects children’s social interactions, inquisitiveness and overall intellectual functioning.
  • Hunger and food insecurity are significant risk factors for a number of problems which include: poorer health and nutrition; diminished physical and psychological well-being, higher levels of behavioral problems and lower academic achievement.
  • Even short periods hunger deprivation affects healthy development.
  • People who are hungry can’t study, can’t work and can’t stay healthy.
  • Senior adults are at an increased risk for disease due to the physical and psychosocial changes of aging. Hunger and malnutrition compound the issue.
  • The propensity to eat junk food drops dramatically when a person has eaten a good breakfast.
  • There is a positive link between hunger and obesity.

Hunger in New Jersey

  • Almost 3 million people live in the Northeastern New Jersey counties of Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Essex. Over 12% live below the poverty line.
  • While on average one of the wealthiest states in the nation, there are many areas in Northeast New Jersey in which the poverty level far surpasses the national average.
  • Despite economic indicators that reflect improved conditions, requests for emergency food assistance at hunger relief organizations throughout the region have increased dramatically.
  • 11.7% of all New Jersey households experience either hunger, food insecurity or both.
  • Low wages, unstable employment and the high cost of living in the state leave many people food insecure.
  • Many senior adults in particular, faced with high housing costs, rising taxes and significant medical expenses miss meals to help make ends meet.
  • 103,000 children in Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Hudson counties live below the poverty level, with many more experiencing food insecurity.

How Table to Table Helps Combat Hunger

  • Hunger and food insecurity is a significant problem facing our country and our community. But Table to Table's resources and ability to resolve the problem are significant as well.
  • 96 billion pounds of food (or 27% of the food available for human consumption in the United States) are literally thrown out each year.
  • Five days a week, and for special weekend pick-ups, Table to Table redistributes good, wholesome food that would otherwise be wasted at no cost to either the food donors, or the recipient agencies to which it is brought.
  • In 2008, from 4 local counties alone, Table to Table rescued more than 3,250,000 pounds of fresh food. Its redistribution provided enough food for over 5.5 million meals.
  • Table to Table’s goal for 2009 is to redistribute enough food within Northeast New Jersey to provide 6,000,000 meals for our hungry neighbors.

For more information on Table to Table, click here.

To support Table to Table, please mail your contribution to:
Table to Table • P.O. Box 1051 • Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632 or call (201) 444-5500

Website Note: Table to Table is a wonderful organization aiding hungry people in Northeastern, NJ. Hunger, however, is a nationwide epidemic. If you are hungry or you want to support a hunger program in another area, please click here to visit The Feeding America website.

Center on Hunger & Poverty Bulletin, November 2004
National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness in America – February 2005
Economic Research Service – US Department of Agriculture
US Bureau of the Census
Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)
NJ Bergen Record, Hungry, But Proud, October 3, 2004

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