Here is the speech that was given on Feb 24 to present Share my Meals to the audience of the Discover Central New Jersey Agritourism Conference in Princeton.
Hello, I am Stan Berteloot, one of the 7 board members of a new non-profit called Share my Meals. I want to thank Michelle Lambros and Brad Fay for giving us this wonderful opportunity to present the Share my meals initiative.
40%! yes 40% of the food produced in the US is wasted. Here, in Princeton, 12% of public schools children qualify for free and reduced lunch.
This equation: too much food waste on one hand and too little to eat on the other is what our president Isabelle Lambotte decided to solve when she founded Share my meals.
For 4 years Isabelle has distributed food every Wednesday to the Princeton community in need at a local food pantry. With the time, she noticed more and more people lining up and also realized that the food received at the pantry wasn’t covering the needs of these families.
She started thinking about additional options. Her idea was simple: we pick-up prepared meals from cafeterias of corporations, schools, universities or even from restaurants and deliver them directly to the houses of families in need.
Isabelle contacted Sodexo, a catering company working with big corporations to explain her vision and their response was extremely positive.
Since our inception, we’ve only had amazing reactions from the community. Princeton University’s Tiger Inn eating club was the first to join the movement. Our volunteers picked-up and delivered their first trays of prepared meals a few weeks ago, in January.
So far, we have delivered over 570 pounds of food to 21 enrolled families which represent a total of around 250 people in Princeton. We are expecting more families to be part of the program as soon as we will have more meals to deliver. The good news is that we have been already approached by the other eating clubs of the Princeton University.
We are also working hand in hand with large corporations, with which we are currently fine-tuning the logistical aspects.
So, if you think that you might have food surplus that could benefit the underprivileged people or if you are curious about knowing more about our local initiatives, go to our website sharemymeals.org and join our movement to help fight hunger at a grassroots level. We need, volunteers, we need your expertise, we need funding, and we need food.