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Changing the World One PB&J at a Time

What began as a solitary act of kindness has become a full blown social movement for Morristown resident, NYU adjunct.

It began as a simple act of kindness.

Delicious, delicious kindness.

Morristown resident Connie Charney would pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to give to a homeless person on her weekly trip into the city where she teachs part-time at New York University. Her route from Convent Station to Penn Station each week afforded her many opportunities to reach out and change the day of someone in need for the better.

“As I walk downtown, I give the sandwich to someone in need. These are my ‘give-a-sandwich’ days. I’ve been doing it for years,” Charney said.

And after some deliberation, Charney decided to expand the effort. In January, Charney “took it up a notch” by launching Food For Thought Cards. According to Charney, the cards are shaped with a bread outline, and with the purchase of each card Food for Thought Cards donates (the cash equivalent of) a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a food pantry or national organization that feeds the hungry. 

Since January, Food for Thought Cards has donated over 3,400 sandwiches and have expanded their offerings to almost 30 store locations across the nation.

“A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is arguably one of the most delicious creations ever made. At its core, it’s a blend. A mixture of two unique things, coming together to form something pretty amazing,” Charney said. “Just like Food for Thought Cards. A blending of passions – for greeting cards and for giving back. And yes, for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

In 2013, Food for Thought Cards has donated the value equivalent to the cost of over 3400 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to food pantries and national organizations that feed the hungry. Recipients include:

  • Center for Food Action in Englewood NJ
  • City Harvest in New York NY
  • Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside NJ
  • Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown NJ
  • Connecticut Food Bank in New Haven CT
  • The Crisis Ministry of Mercer County in Princeton NJ
  • Feeding America in Chicago IL
  • Food Bank for Westchester in Elmsford NY
  • Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Neptune NJ
  • Hamilton Food Cupboard in Hamilton NY
  • His Pantry in Bennington, VT
  • Interfaith Food Pantry in Morristown NJ
  • Manna House Soup Kitchen in Newton NJ
  • Philabundance in Philadelphia PA
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania in Allentown PA
  • Schenectady Inner City Ministry Food Program in Schenectady NY
  • St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen in Scranton PA
  • St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Stirling NJ

Charney said while they may have gained a national audience, Food for Thought Cards thinks locally.

“When a store sells cards, they may select the food pantry to receive Food for Thought Cards’ donation,” Charney said.

The cards are 5x5 and packaged in a clear sleeve and are printed over in Sparta on recycled paper.

“The suggested retail price is $3.25 each,” Charney said. “Keeping the price low means selling more cards and giving more sandwiches.”

For more information, please visit www.foodforthoughtscards.com or contact Connie Charney at 201-919-2160 or connie@foodforthoughtscards.com.

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