Full Bellies, Full Hearts

Sport and Spine Rehab Teams Up With Move For Hunger to Fight Food Insecurity

By Annamarya Scaccia

food driveFor some, hunger is just a random sensation—one either satisfied by a decent meal or a small snack. But for 82.6 million Americans surviving at or below the poverty level, hunger has its own heartbeat. It’s the rhythm that drives their day.

For those Americans suffering from or at risk for hunger, that sensation is relentless. And unlike their full counterparts, it’s one that’s never satiated.

“Everyone thinks about hunger during the holidays, but sadly it gets forgotten for a lot of the rest of the year,” says Adam Lowry, creator and executive director of Move For Hunger.

Move For Hunger, a New Jersey-based non-profit established in 2009, works with moving companies in different states to pick up surplus food from people relocating and delivers the fare to local food banks nationwide. On September 10, the organization teamed up with Sport and Spine Rehab for a three-week long food drive to combat hunger in the Washington, D.C. metro and Northern Virginia region. The drive will run through to September 28.

“This food drive is incredibly important in raising awareness [about] hunger in the community,” says the 26-year-old founder.

Seven Sport and Spine Rehab locations throughout the area are participating in the drive, including two in Prince George’s County: 9300 Livingston Road, Suite 100 in Fort Washington and 4301 Garden City Drive, Suite 104 in Landover. The centers will collect non-perishable food until the end of September, which will then be picked up by five partnering moving companies—Boxcart Moving & Storage, Paxton Van Lines, Bargain Movers, Western Express and DH Moving & Storage—that will deliver the collections to local food banks.

According to the 2010 Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) Hunger Statistics report, more than 257,000 residents are at risk of or currently experiencing food insecurity in the combined Prince George’s and Montgomery County areas, with 54 percent of those residents in Prince George’s County. Additionally, approximately 1 in 4 children under 18 is at risk of hunger in the county, compared to 1 in 5 children in the Washington, D.C. metro area and 1 in 6 children in Northern Virginia. And, according to Food Research and Action Center’s 2011 Food Hardship Data report, 16.3 percent of Marylanders and 16.6 of Virginians experienced food hardship last year.

“I don’t think most people realize what a huge problem hunger is in the United States,” wrote Lowry in an email interview. “Often times it is only considered a third world problem. Most people don’t know that 17 million children in the U.S. go to bed hungry every night, and 1 in 6 Americans doesn’t have enough to eat. This is a huge problem.”

According to Lowry, the Sport and Spine Rehab food drive is the first of its kind for Move For Hunger. And those involved hope to gather several hundred pounds of food by the end of the event—as well as put in motion the foundation for more food drives in the Washington, D.C. metro area. But, says the executive director, the only way this can happen is through the help of the community, so it’s important everyone can donate as much as possible.

“The key to helping end hunger is making people aware,” says Lowry. “When people understand that hunger [is] a problem affecting their community, they will be much more likely to act.”

So far, Move For Hunger has teamed up with over 350 movers in 43 states, collecting more than 70,000 pounds of food.

To donate unopened, unwanted food, visit one of these Sport and Spine Rehab centers by September 28:

  • 9300 Livingston Road, Suite 100 Fort Washington, MD 20744
  • Metro 400 Building, 4301 Garden City Drive, Suite 104, Landover, MD 2078
  • 3925 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 101 Fairfax, VA 22030
  • 46440 Benedict Drive, Suite 106 Sterling, VA 20164
  • 6845 Elm Street, Suite 425 McLean, VA 22101
  • 10805 Hickory Ridge Rd. Suite 103 Columbia, MD 21044
  • Wintergreen Plaza 827E Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852

To learn more about Move For Hunger and get involved in its hunger relief efforts, visit www.moveforhunger.org.

Published on Prince George’s Suite – Friday, September 14, 2012
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