Claudia Lewis Wheeler, Executive Director
Claudia Wheeler is the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit 501(c)3 SALT Foundation, Inc. The SALT Foundation works with a wide range of partners to provide Central New Jersey families in need with thousands of pounds of healthy food that would otherwise go to waste.
For the past ten years, Ms. Wheeler has collected and delivered over 64,000 pounds of fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins, other food products, as well as clothing and supplies, to food pantries, homeless shelters, churches, schools, mobile pop-up pantries, women’s shelters, other community groups, food drives, and special events.
She has driven over 75,000 miles in partnering with supermarkets and food stores – including Trader Joe’s locations in Princeton, Hoboken, and Brick, as well as Wegmans, Whole Foods, Raritan Bakery, and others – as well as New Jersey farm efforts in partnership with Longmeadow Farm, LocalShare, and Foodshed Alliance.
Ms. Wheeler and SALT Foundation have also begun hosting monthly “Community Love” events distributing over 100 bags of healthy food plus winter coats to in-need individuals and families in Jersey City in partnership with the Freetown Road Project restaurant, which was spotlighted by the Jersey Journal and NJ.com.
Ms. Wheeler is also an elementary school teacher in Trenton Public Schools, where she has taught for the past eight years, with 12 years total teaching experience. She is a United States Navy veteran of both active duty and military reserves. Ms. Wheeler earned two Master’s degrees in Administrative Science and Elementary Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, all from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
About The SALT Foundation, Inc.
For time immemorial, salt has been humans’ greatest way to preserve food and make it last. The phrase “salt of the earth” symbolizes those working to help their fellow man. The SALT Foundation works to do just that by making the modern food system go further in helping those who need help most. Gleaning – or gathering left-behind produce and other food goods – is an increasingly important way to help provide families and individuals with healthy food at no cost.
Nearly 800 million people suffer from hunger – yet globally we squander nearly 3 trillion pounds of food each year. Imagine recapturing just a fragment of that wasted food to feed the hungry.
The SALT Foundation has successfully developed the following process to help feed the hungry in Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, and Ocean Counties:
coordinate with supermarkets and other food suppliers to arrange pickup times and locations
collect thousands of pounds of food that would otherwise go to waste
deliver that food in a timely basis to homeless and women’s shelters, churches, food pantries, food drives, and other groups and individuals who need help the most
The SALT Foundation also collects and delivers books, clothes, supplies, and other educational goods and services to similar audiences and other children and adults in need.