By Aurora Rose Horn–
With food insecurity ravaging the country, sometimes it takes someone young and imaginative to combat it. A good example is 17-year-old Jonah Goldberg, a rising senior at Irvington High School. Goldberg started a business called Deals for Meals, which serves the dual purpose of providing gently used or outgrown sporting equipment at deeply-discounted prices to those who can’t afford new equipment—and using the proceeds to feed people in need of a meal. “I put my business mind together with my passion for helping the food insecure,” he said.
Goldberg has been creative in collecting sporting goods. This past March, for example, he launched a “March Madness” drive. “We collected everything from golf clubs to skateboards, balls, cleats, and we sell it at a very great price,” Goldberg said. “For example, hockey equipment and catcher’s gear [are] very expensive and hard to get, which may stop people from enlisting their kids in that sport even though they’re interested in it, so we provide that at a very great value and affordable price.”
Goldberg founded Deals for Meals as a way to use his interest in business to help the less fortunate. “My entire life, I’ve been passionate about helping food insecurity,” he said. “When I was little, I would see people that needed food and I would urge my parents to buy them a meal.”
The COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in motivating Goldberg to start this project. “During COVID, I saw this food truck handing out food to a whole line of people right down my street,” he said, “and I didn’t know that this was such a big issue in my community, so I immediately signed up to volunteer at a variety of food pantries all over Westchester.”
Among the food pantries where Jonah volunteered were Feeding Westchester and New York Common Pantry. “I think this is an important issue because, especially in Westchester, with the high cost of living and housing, it’s more common than people think that families are food insecure and cannot afford to provide their kids with a nutritious meal along with shelter for them. It’s very important that every kid and everyone has a good meal to start off their day.”
In the future, Goldberg plans not only to continue Deals for Meals’ in Westchester, but also expanding it to the Hamptons. “It’s a very similar issue out there in the summer,” he explained. As far as the Westchester branch of Deals for Meals, Jonas said, “I plan on passing it down to other people like me after I graduate. Actually, at some of my events, people have come up to me. For example, this mom came up to me and said she wants her son to do this exact same thing, and she wants to expand Deals for Meals to her son’s school so that he is active in helping his community.”