MADISON, NJ - The Borough of Madison recently formed a partnership with Union Beach to support them with their recovery from Hurricane Sandy and many residents are also donating to Project Paul, a food pantry in Union Beach.
YouGiveGoods, a social business for-profit that started last September with the purpose of connecting people who want to help with those who need it, is assisting with the food drive.
Mary Lonergan, the director of strategic partnerships of YouGiveGoods, said it’s really an online grocery store that makes donating food easier. Since she started with them in April, they have become huge nationwide and done 180 drives throughout the country due to Hurricane Sandy.
“I think people want to help and if you make it really easy they do,” she said.
Any person or business can create a drive on the site and it is a quick process. An individual must register, say what the drive is for and where the food is going. For Project Paul, people need to go to http://www.yougivegoods.com/drive.php?id=1350, click "Donate to This Drive" and select the food they want to purchase. The drive runs from Dec. 3 to Feb. 1.
“I think it’s great,” she said. “We’re trying to build community around using technology.”
People can select from a variety of food and how much of each they would like to buy. All organizations holding a drive tells YouGiveGoods what to offer people to purchase. YouGiveGoods buy the products from a wholesale company and at the completion of the drive that company delivers them to the food pantry. Also, on the site’s page, viewers are able to see who donated and how much or people can remain anonymous as well.
Lonergan said there has been excellent feedback since the organization started and hopes it continues to grow. It’s an effective method to help other people and it should really be taken advantage of, she said.
“It creates a tremendous amount of food because it’s so easy,” she said. “The current model isn’t getting enough food in the system. It’s just not working.”