When Dean and Gloria Pugh launched its ‘5 for 5,’ food drive program, they’d never heard of Move For Hunger. All the Pughs – owners of AMWAT Moving Warehousing & Storage – wanted to do was help fill food pantry shelves.
Little did they know their efforts – and the efforts of their customers and the Tallahassee community – would lead to a national award. On Tuesday, the Pughs received the “Mover of the Year” award from Move For Hunger, a nationwide hunger relief organization that works with moving companies across the United States and Canada to collect non-perishable food items from customers during the moving process. Those items are then delivered to the local food bank where they are distributed to the needy of the community.
“Thanks to companies like AWMAT, Move For Hunger delivered more than 600,000 pounds of food in 2012,” said Adam Lowy, executive director of Move For Hunger, which he and his family founded with the help of Wheaton World Wide Moving in 2009. In just three years, the organization has grown to include more than 450 moving companies in 44 states across the country.
“AMWAT has become a role model in how local businesses can get involved to support the community,” said David Witzerman, president of Wheaton World Wide Moving, who also served on the Move For Hunger board of directors. “We could not be prouder of what AMWAT has done to help those in need in Tallahassee.”
The Pughs began collecting food for Second Harvest of The Big Bend in early 2009, after they read an article in The Tallahassee Democrat newspaper about empty pantry shelves.
“We just couldn’t imagine people in our community without food. We wanted to do something to help,” Gloria said.
AMWAT introduced ‘5 for 5,’ giving customers a 5-percent discount on their local move in exchange for five items of non-perishable food they donated. For many customers, it’s a no-brainer decision, as the cost of their moves is determined – among other factors – by the weight of their items. And, when people considered the fact that a small box of food could feed 50 to 60 people, most customers jumped at the chance to help.
As member of Move For Hunger, AMWAT Moving Warehousing & Storage strives to set an example by encouraging businesses to leverage their resources to help better the quality of life in their communities, including feeding the hungry.