The Dog Days of August…Not!

August 15 2015 upload - Ralston Farm and other 252

It’s August and here in NJ that means tomatoes!  My family’s lucky – we have a CSA share at Ralston Farm, right down the road from us. They grow outstanding organic fruits and veggies.  We just picked up these incredible tomatoes – delicious!

While August is a vacation month for many – not for us and for many others working to help those facing hunger during the summer – a time when most hunger organizations struggle with lower donations.

Chef's Community Table - Morristown Logo

The Chefs’ Community Table drive just wrapped up and raised over 400 meals to support the Market Street Mission in Morristown, NJ.  We’ll be delivering all those meals soon. Thanks to the team at St. Jacques Marketing and many others for making this first of its kind food drive successful!

We also just delivered a ton of fresh produce to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County raised by the annual Curbing Hunger drive – carrots, bananas and lots of other good stuff!  Curbing Hunger has been running this annual drive for 21 years!Curbing Hunger 8.13.15

The REAL Food Drive campaign is picking up steam – we’ll be sharing some exciting news about it soon.  In the meantime, stay cool and enjoy these last couple of weeks before the school season is in full swing.

What the Heck is a REAL Food Drive?

Real Food Chalk Board Dreamstime - resized for online post

Nearly all of us are familiar with the good old fashioned food drive.  Most of us have donated canned or boxed goods at one time or another – to a drive sponsored by our company, our church, our school or some other organization we are connected with.  In fact, in the US, people make billions and billions of food donations each year, making it one of the most popular forms of giving.  All of those food donations have one thing in common – they are non-perishable.  They need to be because they are going to sit in a collection box for awhile before they get to help someone.

Amp Your Good has reinvented how food drives work with an online giving model called Crowd-feeding.  Organizations use our crowd-feeding website to run their food drives. People who want to support a drive do it by purchasing the food they want to donate right at our website.  We deliver the food for them directly to the food pantry, shelter or soup kitchen they are supporting.  There’s no collection box so no chance of food donations spoiling.

And that means something radical – it means that instead of donating non-perishable food, people can donate perishable food –  REAL Food – fruits and vegetables, whole meals and other healthy food.  It means organizations can sponsor REAL Food drives with very specific goals – to raise organic food, locally grown produce, restaurant quality food and other types of REAL food.  It also means that food drives can be used to support other good causes – things like local farming, reducing food waste or protecting the environment.

But most of all, it means that food drives can be used to ensure that people struggling with hunger get the food they really need.  It’s a sad fact that the rates of diet related disease and conditions among the 50 Million people (US) facing hunger are astronomical – diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer are rampant.  While there are many contributing factors, lack of access to healthy food is the biggest one.  REAL Food Drives can help move the dial on this problem in a big way.

Traditional food drives have a long history and reflect the deep interest people have in helping those struggling with tough times.  But, as they say, “The times, they are a-changin.” There is a huge shift in people’s food preferences towards healthier food coupled with incredibly fast growing demand of food that can be purchased online.  We developed Crowd-feeding to leverage these trends for the benefit of those facing hunger.  Crowd-feeding enables everyone to amplify their good intentions so that food drives and food donations can have the best impact.

So, what the fork is a REAL Food Drive?  It’s a food drive that’s cool.  It’s cool because it’s environmentally friendly, healthy, easy and convenient.  It’s cool because it can be organic, it can support local farming, it can be vegan.  It’s cool because it’s transparent, smart and it’s social.  But most of all, it’s cool because it gets the right kind of food to the people who really need it.  It raises the kind of food you can stick a fork in.

If your organization is planning a food drive or the next time you’re planning to donate to one, make it REAL.