Newburyport restaurant Loretta will be partnering with Our Neighbors’ Table (ONT) through 2017. After a year of getting to know the organization and looking for the perfect way to collaborate, Loretta owner Ted Epstein will donate 15% of sales on the first Tuesday of every month to Our Neighbors' Table! The campaign will actually kick off on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 and run through December 2017.
Loretta guests will experience the same high quality food and service as they always do and know that their dining experience is helping local community members. For those who are interested in making their own contribution, information about Our Neighbors’ Table will be available through the restaurant staff. Every $1 donated through this campaign will provide 1 meal through Our Neighbors’ Table’s programs.
“We’ve long sought ways to partner with our local restaurants. We know how demanding the restaurant business is, but we also know how passionate so many local restaurant owners and staff are about sharing food with others. Ted’s idea was perfect!” shares ONT Executive Director Lyndsey Haight.
For more information on Loretta, visit their website www.lorettarestaurant.com.
Each year Our Neighbors’ Table (ONT) has over 400 individual volunteers who contribute over 300 hours each week. A huge part of the heart of this organization is showing volunteers how much they are appreciated. You may not have known that we have a committee, made up of volunteers, who helps us to do this! This month we have decided to feature the Volunteer Appreciation Committee in our Volunteer Spotlight.
The Volunteer Appreciation Committee came about as a result of ONT’s 2012 Strategic Plan. It was determined that there was a need to formalize a group that could provide a level of support that the limited number of staff could not. This committee was set forth to be the hands and feet of ONT, recognizing the needs of our volunteers and appreciating the countless hours that are put forth in making ONT run. Improving the overall satisfaction of ONT volunteers will contribute to the longevity and sustainability of reaching our neighbors in their time of need.
Over the past four years the committee has hosted an annual volunteer appreciation event to gather volunteers across programs to thank them for contributing their time and energy to help ONT fight hunger in our region. The committee is currently working hard on planning a big event for ONT’s 25th Anniversary. We will be doing something special to honor and recognize our volunteers. It’s going to be a big party and you all are invited! Stay tuned…you’ll hear more in the coming months as plans come together!
Each year as ONT grows, this committee is unified in purpose to make the volunteer experience a memorable one. We value each person and every minute they support us with their time and talents. This is a small piece in the big picture of how we come together as a community and care for one another. If you are interested in learning how you can get involved with this committee, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Sue Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starve Hunger. Feed Hope.
Our Neighbors’ Table (ONT) has been named Community Partner of the Year by The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). ONT was formally recognized at the GBFB Partner Appreciation Day on October 28th. This recognition comes as ONT kicks off the celebration of its 25th anniversary and settles into the new Jardis-Taylor Center, which opened in May 2016.
Hunger affects 1 out of every 16 people living in northeastern Essex County. Even more staggering, 1 out of every 5 of our seniors and 1 out of every 8 children are struggling through each day without enough food. Our Neighbors’ Table provides hunger relief to nearly 600 households every week through our local, mobile and home-delivery grocery programs and our Wednesday Meal.
Operating since 1992, ONT has increased the amount of food provided to the community by more than 100% since 2012, distributing 650,000 pounds of food (the equivalent of 500,000 meals) in 2015 alone. The hallmark of ONT’s programs is providing fresh produce, meat and dairy products that are most expensive or inaccessible to struggling residents. Fresh foods, sourced both from GBFB and local growers, made up more than half of all food distributed at ONT last year, including 100,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables grown within 15 miles of ONT.
“We could not possibly keep up with the growing need in our community without our partnership with The Greater Boston Food Bank. We bring approximately 15,000 pounds of food from GBFB to our warehouse every week,” shares Lyndsey Haight, ONT Executive Director. “We’ve made fresh food a priority here at ONT five years ago. We are proud and grateful to have GBFB and our local growers as partners toward this goal.”
“Our Neighbors’ Table is an exemplary partner in our mission to end hunger here across Eastern Massachusetts,” noted Catherine D’Amato, GBFB’s President and CEO. “They are always willing and ready to step up to the challenges in their area and they do this through leadership and innovation.”
ONT is in good company as other 2016 GBFB award recipients include Walmart, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Gold Medal Bakery, Liberty Mutual, Senator Benjamin Downing, Representative Marjorie Decker, RSA Media, and Davio’s owner Steve DiFilippo.
ONT’s grocery programs serve residents of Amesbury, Boxford, Byfield, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, West Newbury, Rowley and South Hampton (NH). Their Wednesday Meal is open to all.
Welcome to the Jardis-Taylor Center for Our Neighbors' Table!
It's been 6 weeks since we opened the doors of the Jardis-Taylor Center and it's like it has been our home for years! Guests are overjoyed with the shopping experience in our state-of-the-art market, volunteers delight in the ease of sorting food in our new warehouse. But most importantly, this new facility is already making our programs more accessible to more people in need - nearly 30% more in the first month!
Thank you to all of the donors who helped us surpass our Captial Campaign goal of $1.1 million, especially Greg Jardis, Institution for Savings, and J Charitable Remainder Trust; to the members of the ONT Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and guests who created this vision of a special place for our neighbors in their time of need; to our architect Greg Colling and our contractor McPartland Corp. who went above and beyond to create a worthy home for our mission for years to come; and our volunteer project manager John Massaua for keeping this project on-time and on-budget. Read more about the campaign and the project.
Calling Volunteers! Have you attended volunteer orientation yet? Whether you're new or have been volunteering for a while, we ask that you sign up for an upcoming volunteer orientation to learn more about our mission and to hear about all of the opportunities at ONT. Contact Sue Andrews to register for one of our July orientations. Haven't filled out a volunteer application yet? Do it online today and you'll receive an invitation to the orientations!
Public-Private Partnerships bring Food Security
Taken at the dedication of the Jardis-Taylor Center for Our Neighbors' Table. L-R: Rep. Brad Hill, Sen. O'Connor Ives, Rep. Lenny Mirra, Nicole and Greg Jardis, Rep. Jim Kelcourse, Amesbury Mayor Ken Gray, ONT Executive Director Lyndsey Haight. Not pictured, Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday was also there to support this special moment in ONT history.
The value of public-private partnershipsHere at ONT, it’s no secret that our mission is carried out thanks to the generosity of individuals and local businesses who give of their time and their money because they care about their neighbors. But over the years, ONT has valued the support and partnerships of our public sector, and we’re excited about these growing opportunities. In 2015 alone, more than 150,000 meals were provided with the support from state and federal programs. Who do we partner with?
Here at ONT, it’s no secret that our mission is carried out thanks to the generosity of individuals and local businesses who give of their time and their money because they care about their neighbors. But over the years, ONT has valued the support and partnerships of our public sector, and we’re excited about these growing opportunities. In 2015 alone, public partnerships supported 150,000 meals to the region.
Since our very first year of operation, ONT has sourced food through state-funded resources, like the Department of Education meals programs in the 1990’s and later through state and federal funded food stocks offered at regional food banks. Today, approximately 20% of the food we provide comes through the MEFAP line item of the state budget and the TEFAP line item in the federal budget.
Did you know that each year, ONT serves more than 100 military veterans and their families? We can’t do that alone. For ten years, ONT has contracted with the Department of Veterans Services to provide emergency assistance to local veterans. What started as sporadic aid in times of crisis has become ongoing assistance to help our military families and aging veterans make ends meet. Thankfully, our State Representative Jim Kelcourse, with support from our State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, has championed our work and doubled our funding to keep pace with the growing need.
In 2016, ONT is excited about our newest partnership, working with the City of Amesbury and Town of Merrimac under the Community Development Block Grant to help serve low- and moderate-income residents. Last year, ONT served 1 out of every 10 residents of Amesbury and 1 out of every 30 Merrimac residents. Each year, we see hundreds of new families and individuals from these communities. CDBG money will be used to curb the cost the growing number of people turning to ONT for food assistance.
Partnerships with state and local government doesn’t just bring funding, they are also effective tools to help us reach people in need. ONT has been partnering with the Councils on Aging and Housing Authorities in Amesbury and Merrimac for nearly 10 years. We’ve worked together to identify local residents, especially seniors and people with disabilities who are struggling without enough food. Through creativity and collaboration, we’ve been providing on-site mobile pantries at Amesbury’s Heritage Towers and Powow Villa for nearly 10 years and home delivery services to residents who are homebound since 2010. In Merrimac, we now fully support the food inventory for the Council on Aging’s pantry and delivery program, while the COA provides space for our mobile distribution to residents of Merrimac.
As we continue to leverage the new Jardis-Taylor Center to increase our capacity, we look to developing similar relationships and creative partnerships with public departments across our service region to reach our neighbors who have yet to find their way to our doors.
In what areas do you volunteer?
I help out with the To Gos. Someone prepares the food and packages them. I pass them out to anyone who wants them at the meal. They tell me how many they would like.
Why do you volunteer?
I know what it means to need help and I want to be there for others who need it.
What keeps you coming back to volunteer at ONT?
It's a great experience here. Everyone is very nice at Our Neighbors' Table.
Tell us a little about your guide dog!
I've had Deiter for 3 years. He's a great service dog and loves to come with me to Our Neighbors' Table. He's not very old. I had a black lab for 9 years before I had Deiter.
Like most volunteers, Justin found his way to Our Neighbors' Table with a recommendation from a friend. Justin was no stranger to helping around town. And, as it turns out, he was no stranger to Our Neighbors' Table.
Justin jumped right into helping ONT, immediately boosting the annual Fill-A-Cruiser food drive with appearances from Wally the Green Monster, the Celtics and Patriots! Justin has been so passionate about helping us get out word of ONT's work - from celebrity appearances to spots on iheart radio to ONT's logo on race cars around the country.
So, what is it that makes Justin so passionate about ONT??? Last year, when our long-time volunteer Jim Smith shared his personal story, it inspired Justin to share his own. I'll never forget the afternoon sitting in our office listening to Justin tell me the story of his childhood. To this day, I've heard it, I've shared it, I've watched Justin tell it over and over, and it still moves me to tears.
At first, my heart broke for Justin and his family. But now, my tears are tears of hope. On those tough days when a new guest walks through our door in dire straights, or the market refrigerators break down, when the little things start to pile on, Justin's story and his courage in sharing it bring us strength and hope. Strength to persevere and continue to spread our mission. Strength to lend to our guests who are struggling through a lot of tough days. And hope, that they too are moving on to a brighter future like Justin.
If you ever wonder if donating a box of pasta, giving an hour of your time, or generously supporting our programs is making a real difference, this video is living proof. On behalf of ONT, we thank Justin for his bravery in sharing this story. And we thank you for taking the time to hear it.
With great hope and appreciation,
Help us provide meals and rebuild lives with your gift today!
It's the moment we've all been waiting for! Time to cut the ribbon and officially open the Jardis-Taylor Center for Our Neighbors' Table!!! Members of the public are welcome to join our ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday, May 24, 5:30pm.
There are only 6 days left to get your campaign donation in. We are now at $1,092,000 toward our goal of $1.1 million! Make your donation today!
If you would like to volunteer at the Jardis-Taylor Center or in any of our programs, please visit our volunteer page to complete your online application.