Table Talk, Winter 2019
2019 is up and running! Checkout our complete list of 2019 events and mark your calendar. I am fired up! Why, you ask? Well, it’s because of YOU! When you see your neighbors struggling, you act! When you know someone who’s plate is empty, you mobilize to fill it. Whether it’s your time or your donations, you are committed to making sure your neighbors are taken care of and that inspires me every day.
It’s not just me, you’re inspiring others to join in the fight to put food on the table for all of our neighbors. Last year, more than 800 of our neighbors signed up to volunteer or made a donation for the first time. That’s 800 more people who are now aware of food insecurity in our community and 800 more people who, like you, are ready to make a difference. Knowing that so many of our fellow community members agree that NO ONE should go hungry in our backyard is what tells me that creating a food secure region is a goal within our reach
No one of us can eliminate hunger on our own, but, boy, we are powerful together.
Last year, we launched new programs and partnerships across the region - from bussing for seniors in Groveland to shop for groceries at our Amesbury market, to creative strategies to help Newburyport teachers, nurses and school administrators better reach their struggling families, to our new Market in Newburyport. As a result, we put food on the table for more than 4,000 of the 6,000 neighbors who were worrying about where they’d get their next meal.
I hope you’re as fired us as I am for the year ahead. And, if you are, I want to hear you! Keep me going, keep our team going, and share with me what is energizing you. Please, will you take a minute and share your inspiration with us? Tell us why you invest in ONT. Tell us what it means to put food on the table for your neighbors. Tell us what will keep you fired up!
Let’s make 2019 an even stronger year and reach 5,000 neighbors!
P.S. Checkout our complete list of 2019 events and mark your calendars!
Group Opportunities to Sponsor and Serve
Looking for a way to give back as a group – either a group of friends, family, neighbors or colleagues? ONT's Market and Meal Sponsorships offer the unique opportunity for group volunteer service.
Wednesday Meal Sponsorship:
Each week, ONT welcomes 150 guests to dine at our weekly Wednesday Meal. The chef prepared 3 course meal is open to any one in any community. Sponsors commit to a $500 financial contribution and bring a group of 8 volunteers to serve the meal. Dates are available on a first-come first-serve basis and are booking up fast!
Over 450 households shop for their groceries each week at the ONT Market. Sponsors commit a minimum of $800 and may send a team of up to 5 volunteers to work a shift in the market, assisting guests with their weekly shopping. Market shifts are available Wednesday—Saturday.
Email Lyndsey or call her at 978-388-1907 x11 if you’re interested in either opportunity. Our Meal sponsor dates are booking up fast already!
ONT to Host National Service Member
We'll be growing our team in 2019! ONT has been approved to host an AmeriCorps *VISTA member for a year, starting in the summer of 2019. The AmeriCorps is a national service program (a domestic version of the Peace Corps) and members volunteer at an organization full-time for a year to build capacity. We know the AmeriCorps is a great thing, both Alice (Volunteer Coordinator) and Lesley (Development Manager) are AmeriCorps alums! ONT's AmeriCorps *VISTA member will serve as a “Community Engagement Coordinator,” focusing on building organizational relationships and participation with volunteers and community groups. Stay tuned – we will be releasing more information and a job posting for this position soon.
Volunteer Spotlight- Rita Comtois
As a licensed psychologist, much of Rita’s life was consumed by work and school. But she believes in the importance of giving back and always knew she would volunteer in her retirement when she had more time. “Volunteering is an essential part of who we are as a country,” Rita says. “You have to reach out to other people and put yourself in their shoes.”
Rita was aware of ONT from living in Amesbury, but she says she was naive about what it actually entailed. After orientation, she realized that ONT wasn't just about food, it was about community. She started helping with the computer on Fridays, then added Saturdays, then Thursday and then Wednesdays.
Now a fixture in the Market and Warehouse 4 days a week, Rita enjoys working with new volunteers and showing them how to use the computers at checkout. She’s also likes interacting with the guests and seeing them grow more comfortable with the volunteers each week. “I fully believe that any of us is only a few steps away from needing ONT’s services,” Rita says. “I respect that.”
When she's not at ONT, Rita enjoys photography, art, flowers, gardening, and reading. She has a goal to see all 50 states, she's currently at 25. Thank you Rita, for all of your hard work and dedication to ONT.