Food often gets tossed when people are packing up and moving, a wasteful practice that professional movers decided to do something about.
The local Two Men and a Truck has teamed up with Move for Hunger and is collecting through Aug. 30 non-perishable food items that will be donated to the Orland Township Food Pantry.
"It's such a great program and such a great way for us to help out in the community," said Russell Meyer, the company's community events and marketing coordinator. "We see it all the time when people move — they discard food. We figured, 'Why can't we recapture some of that food and use it.'"
Requested donations include canned food, macaroni and cheese, pasta, rice, cereal, pancake mix, syrup, graham crackers, white crackers, cake mixes, gelatin, puddings, flour, sugar, condiments, coffee, tea, juice, toilet paper, baby food and diapers.
Meyer said the company is working on preparing posters and fliers to promote the food drive, and is talking to businesses and other organizations willing to host drop-off boxes for collections.
Move for Hunger works with moving companies to redistribute discarded food to people in need. According to the New Jersey-based non-profit's website, 50 million Americans go hungry. One in six people and one in five children experience hunger, according to the website.
The Orland Park branch of Two Men and a Truck took a cue from the Elmhurst franchise, which already had teamed up with Move for Hunger on a food drive. Meyer said the branch also recently coordinated a Movers for Moms donation drive, collecting clothes, cosmetics, lotions and other "creature comforts," which were donated to a local women's shelter on Mother's Day.
"That way, every mother can have a great Mother's Day," he said.
The Orland Park franchise is part of Two Men and a Truck International Inc. in Lansing. The company was started about 20 years ago by two high school brothers, Brig and Jon Sorber, in Lansing, according to the website moveforhunger.org. Their mom, Mary Ellen Sheets, continued her sons' work after they left for college and then founded the company.
More information is at twomenandatruckorlandpark.com/move-for-hunger.