SHORT HILLS, NJ – What started as a “mitzvah” project (Hebrew term that expresses an act of human kindness) in the spring of 2016 to mark his 13th birthday, Far Brook student Elijah Goldberg decided to do more. After learning there are over one million people in New Jersey that are food insecure, he started Generation Zero.
Goldberg was inspired to start Generation Zero after visiting St. Anne's Soup Kitchen in Newark, as part of a community service day event at the Far Brook School. When the number of folks exceeded his expectation, he realized then that hunger is a serious issue in New Jersey, particularly in Essex County.
He started the Generation Zero web page, sent over 200 emails to his friends and family and started fundraising. Goldberg derived his organization’s name from Generation Z, referring to his peers, born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s.
Goldberg's passion for food related causes is a family affair. His mother, Melissa Goldberg, is the founder and a principal of the Farm and Fork Society, a nonprofit CSA (community supported agriculture) in Millburn. The mission of the CSA is to provide New Jersey families with access to healthy produce and to support local farmers.
Currently in its second year of operations, “Gen Z” continues to raise awareness of hunger issues in Essex County, which has the highest hunger rate of any county in New Jersey. Last year, Gen Z raised over $5,000 to purchase fresh produce. The produce donation went to the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges and Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange.
The donated food will help feed more than 600 individuals per week.
This year, Gen Z teamed up with the Farm and Fork Society to increase awareness of hunger issues in Essex County, to encourage greater community support and to promote agricultural stewardship.
For more information about Generation Zero and how to donate, please visit https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/generation-zero-working-to-reduce-hunger-in-nj--2