Hear from Dave Breingan, Executive Director of Lawrenceville United, about their important work and how LU connects to 412 Food Rescue!
What does your organization do?
Lawrenceville United is an inclusive, resident-driven non-profit dedicated to improving and protecting the quality of life of all Lawrenceville residents. “Quality of life” covers a lot of bases, and so do we: everything from organizing public safety efforts, to putting on large events to continue neighborhood traditions and build community, supporting and strengthening our neighborhood public schools, helping older adults to age in place, managing a farmers’ market, leading cleaning and greening efforts, serving as the organizational backbone for our many teams of resident volunteer groups, and so on.
What is your role in the organization? Executive Director
What is your organization’s biggest challenge in terms of supporting food insecure individuals and families?
I think the biggest challenge is finding out who needs it. Hunger doesn’t exactly wear a neon sign on the front door, and people’s situations are always changing, so that somebody who felt very secure a month ago can fall on hard times and then be really struggling with it. It’s pretty rare for someone to cold-call us and ask us for food. It’s only through a lot of our programs and the relationships we build that we discover how much it exists in the community and how much need there is.
What has been your favorite delivery since your partnership with us?
We got such a huge donation one week that all of the food boxes could barely fit in our truck, and I had no clue how I was going to get rid of it all. I sent a big text message blast out to a lot of the families we work with that I thought could use it, and soon enough I had a ton of responses and was driving everywhere, making deliveries. Word had even gotten out to people I hadn’t texted, so that folks I didn’t even know were flagging me down for food right off the street. I must’ve delivered to 25 different families that day. People would take what they needed and leave the rest for others, and everyone was so happy because it was so unexpected.
If you could give someone one reason to volunteer with 412 Food Rescue, what would it be?
There’s something very simple and satisfying about saving what would otherwise be wasted food and getting it into the hands of a family that can really use it. The smiles when the families see the food is worth everything.