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Move For Hunger gathers supplies for food banks

July 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Feed SoCal campaign is in high gear, part of many volunteer organizations in Southern California fighting hunger in our area. One group has found a unique way of collecting food for those who need it.

Laurie Vilmur and her family are moving to Texas, so the pictures, the chairs, pretty much everything is going with them. Except the food. It's destined for needy families in Southern California.

"I think there is always food that you can use, but I think when you look at that and you look at people who might need it more, I think this was a chance to give back," said Vilmur.

The Vilmurs are taking part in a program called Move For Hunger. The non-profit charity works with moving companies, which ask if customers want to donate the food filling their cupboards and pantries.

On this day, a crew from Budd Van Lines is gathering up boxes of non-perishables.

"We've just barely started this and I would say at least 80 percent of the customers are participating," said Leon Reinhold, Budd Van Lines warehouse manager.

"So far we actually were able to donate about 6,500 pounds' worth of food," said George Piceno, Budd Van Lines van line manager.

So while the Vilmurs' property is headed out of state, some of their food will stay in Southern California.

Once packed into a van, the movers take it to the Budd warehouse in Chino. That's where it joins all the other Move For Hunger food donated by customers. And once the movers get enough of it built up, it's shipped off once again and dropped off at a local food bank.

In this case it's the Second Harvest Food Bank in Riverside, whose agencies serve some 400,000 needy people.

"It doesn't matter whether it's a huge box of food, a small bag of food. Every little bit has an impact," said Daryl Brock, Second Harvest Food Bank executive director.

As helpful as these programs are, they are far from solving the Southern California food crisis.

The ABC7 Feed SoCal program has already collected about 220,000 pounds of food, which sounds like a lot.

But keep in mind, the Second Harvest Food Bank in the Inland Empire distributes 2 million pounds of food each month. For the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, it's 4 million pounds of food distributed per month.

"Most of our agencies throughout the area have seen a 20-to-35-percent increase in requests for assistance for food," said Brock.

And that's where the Move For Hunger program is comes in. From moving property to removing hunger, the people taking part have come up with something that is truly moving.


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