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Local Organizations That Allocate Leftover Food

by Jordan and Joelle Hernandez
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Nearly 1 million people in New Jersey go hungry daily. Of this number, just about 14% are children which can have a major impact on their physical, social, and emotional development. Directly opposing those numbers is the amount of food waste created unnecessarily in the United States.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, 40% of food produced ends up being wasted. When that food is put back into our communities, the number of those experiencing hunger goes down. Several eateries in Hudson County are doing just that. We have rounded up a list of local organizations and restaurants where a meal purchase or donation could change the course of a day for those in need in our community. 

food waste organizations new jersey



Choc●O●Pain | 157 1st Street & 1500 Hudson Street, Hoboken;  330 Palisades Avenue, & 530 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City

When owner Clémence Danko opened Choc O Pain, she knew she didn’t want to simply bring a taste of Paris to Hudson County. She wanted to use the bakery to do something about her passion to eliminate food waste and food insecurity. Since its inception, Choc ●O● Pain has donated its additional food to organizations like York Street Project and facilities like The Hoboken Shelter. Shop the products online or swing by one of the four locations and know that there’s so much more going on behind the scenes. 


The Hoboken Shelter | 300 Bloomfield Street

The Hoboken Shelter, established in 1982, is owned and operated by the Communities of Faith for Housing, Inc., a non-profit housing corporation made up of ministers and laity from houses of worship, as well as several Hoboken community leaders. It shelters 50 people nightly, serves over 500 meals daily, and provides such support services as case management, counseling, job & life skills training, creative arts workshops, emergency homelessness prevention grants, and permanent supportive housing solutions.

Hudson Table | 1403 Clinton Street

Hudson Table is well known for its luxurious cooking classes and impeccable outdoor dining views, but perhaps a bit less known is its commitment to those in need in the community. Hudson Table is one of many organizations in the area that have committed to giving back to the Hudson County Hunger Project. The menu changes regularly as well as the classes they offer. Take a look here.


Jersey City

Café Peanut | 586 Newark Avenue

There is nothing “little” about this ‘funky little place’ and its food donations. Café Peanut has partnered with the Hudson County Hunger Project. This organization was birthed out of the pandemic and now serves families in the area experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19. Volunteers gather at this eatery to ensure food surplus to delivered with care and love. Café Peanut recently shared on its Instagram that its in need of more funding to keep the Hudson County Hunger Project going during this time. To learn more about Café Peanut, sign up to volunteer, or gather more information on how to give to HCHP, check out their site here.

El Gordo | 291 Central Avenue

The pandemic has left hundreds right here in Hudson County to experience food insecurity, some for the first time in their lives. For this reason, El Gordo has partnered with Hudson County Hunger Project for the past 8 months to help lower the number of residents living with hunger. Helping the senior community specifically has been their focus during this time. Follow their events, menus, and location updates here.  

Freetown Road Project | 640 Newark Avenue

This Boy Scout Chef turned ‘Chopped’ Champion tuned restaurant owner is using his clout, grit, and good food to give back to his community daily. Chef Claude Lewis combined his love for cooking and his community to start Freetown Road Project back in May 2020—a restaurant that doubles as a food pantry and meal service site for those in the area that need it. Food surplus is donated to Rescuing Leftover Cuisine or placed in their food pantry daily. Even during the pandemic, Chef Claude and his team of volunteers have been able to provide over 600 meals monthly. Visit Freetown Road Project for a delicious meal or to support their worthy cause.

Read More: Where to Donate Food in Hoboken + Jersey City

Greater Good Events 

Events like weddings and birthday parties are great for seeing friends and family for a happy occasion, but often they are top offenders of creating tons of food waste. Enter Great Good Events, an organization whose mission is to plan “occasions with a conscious”. By partnering with eco-friendly vendors, sourcing locally grown products, and setting up donation opportunities for remaining food, florals, décor, and clothing, they are actively reducing their impact on planet earth. View their portfolio of previous events or plan your own here.


Jersey City Heights Community Fridge

Jersey City Heights Community Fridge

{Photo credit: @jcheightscommunityfridge}

The food inside is free for everyone and anyone can leave food, including individuals, businesses, and restaurants. Raw meat is illegal in a pantry which means no ground meat, no fish, no chicken, frozen meat, hot dogs, etc. Fresh produce, fruits, and veggies are ideal. Prepared food must have a “prepared on” and “use by” dates, as well as allergies clearly marked.


Sweetgreen | 90 Hudson Street

Sweetgreen not only makes us feel better for choosing a healthy lunch or dinner, but also for giving back to the community. The national chain has community-focused efforts nationwide, some of which can be seen right here in Hudson County. During its opening week in Jersey City, Sweetgreen donated food surplus to the York Street Project, an organization that provides food, shelter, and education to those in need. Following opening week, this location of Sweetgreen contributed to the West Side Community Fridge, a non-profit in Jersey City. To give back just by getting a salad, visit the Jersey City Sweetgreen.

Greater Hudson County


The Community FoodBank of New Jersey

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), a member of Feeding America®, is the leading anti-hunger and anti-poverty organization in the state. What started as a modest enterprise in the back of our founder Kathleen DiChiara’s station wagon in downtown Newark in 1975, became an incorporated non-profit in 1982 and has grown to two warehouse facilities in Hillside and Egg Harbor Township, the combined size of five football fields. These locations serve area programs and community partners- over 1,000 in 15 of 21 New Jersey counties- within which 760,000 food-insecure neighbors in need reside.


Mademeals | 9 Basin Drive, Kearny

Community involvement is at the core of this food service, it is in everything they do, and in every part of their business. Working towards eliminating food waste starts with their process of pre-ordering food, that way there is not an overabundance of unneeded items. With over 40% of everything produced in the US being waste, no matter the measures are taken there will be a surplus. Mademeals has committed to donating their extra supplies to local organizations to support those in need. Click here to place an order and help give back.

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine 

In reference to this organization, business owners, hopeful volunteers, and in-need non-profits all have something in common. They can all be involved with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. By debunking myths that leftover food cannot be donated, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine works with businesses to deliver food to local non-profits through the support of volunteers. Through these donations, they have worked to uphold their mission of fighting food insecurity and preserving the environment. Support of even just $5 can help provide 50 meals or less than an hour of volunteer time can feed dozens. Sign up here.


See More: A List of Hoboken + Jersey City Charities to Donate to Year-Round

Table to Table {611 Route 46 West, Hasbrouck Heights}

Rescue isn’t typically a word used with food, but Table to Table is changing that narrative. This community-based organization “rescues” food from about 150 donors in the Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic county areas for those in need. Deliveries to over 200 organizations such as food pantries, shelters, daycare/after school programs, senior adult centers, and other programs happen same day free of charge to all parties involved. This year, they have committed 26 million meals to the areas of New Jersey they service. To get there, donor support is needed. Learn more and contribute here.

Too Good to Go {394 Broadway New York}

“Save food Help the Planet”, a tag line that many can get behind. By eliminating food waste and moving towards an environment where hunger is no longer an issue, not only are humans in a much healthier position but so is the world. Food waste takes a huge toll on the environment. Providing those in need with perfectly good food that would have otherwise been thrown away has a direct impact on making our earth a better place. This organization turned #1 app for food waste, allows for a direct and easy way for volunteers to get involved. Check out the site here to get started today.


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