Table to Table Addresses Hunger in North Jersey [AUDIO]
NEW JERSEY 101.5
The food rescue program, Table to Table, was launched in 1998 to aid people in need in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic Counties.
As they get set to celebrate their 15th anniversary, they continue their terrific work of redistributing prepared and perishable foods.
“Our mission is to pick up food that would otherwise be wasted and make sure that it goes to people, who can thrive through receiving it,” Executive Director Ilene Isaacs said.
This includes the food at restaurants and supermarkets that is leftover at the end of the day.
Table to Table sends refrigerated to pick up the food and deliver it to 70 agencies, such as elder care facilities, drug rehab centers, homeless shelters, and pantries serving the ‘working poor.’ They are the first and only food rescue program in Northeast New Jersey solely dedicated to this cause.
The non-profit delivers enough food to serve more than 11 million meals to the community. Isaacs said that despite word that the economy is improving, they continue to see an uptick for people using their services.
“We are seeing the situation getting harder and harder for those who are in need,” she explained.
The recent reductions in federal SNAP funding has contributed to the growing problem.
Isaacs said that holidays, such as the upcoming Thanksgiving Day, are particularly tough because most people want to have a traditional holiday meal.
“We know that because we are getting more and more calls asking for food,” she said.
Another impressive part of Table to Table is the fact that they raise their own money and never charge a fee to the recipient agencies for the food it delivers. Nearly 98 percent of every dollar raised goes directly into the program, which serves more than 12,000 people weekly.
“The need is there all year round and we are there all year round, consistently and reliably bringing food,” Isaacs said.
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The Jersey Battle Buddies Mentoring program will identify and help veterans as soon as possible after they enter the criminal justice system. Services include substance use/abuse treatment, mental health counseling, securing veterans’ benefits and if necessary, mentoring by a fellow veteran. The goal of the project is to aid veterans to overcome or change behaviors that led to being involved in the criminal justice system.
Farmers Against Hunger
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On average, 1.2 million pounds of fresh produce is collected annually from farms, groceries and wholesales. Recently, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture awarded FAH a grant to be used for transportation and administrative costs. To learn more, visit their website.