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.
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 partnerships. 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, more than 150,000 meals were provided with the support from state and federal programs. Who do we partner with?