Table Talk, Summer 2020
Meeting the Need Head-On
Lyndsey Haight, Executive Director
While COVID-19 has not directly affected the physical health of most residents in our region, the economic and emotional toll has been astounding. The average unemployment rate for our 12 cities and towns over April, May and June 2020 tops 14%, compared to 2.45% one year ago. Even at the height of the recession, local unemployment average for the region in 2010 was only 7.5%.
Families who were gainfully employed only 6 months ago now rely on stimulus checks, SNAP and programs like Our Neighbors’ Table. With your support, ONT has been able to meet the need head-on and has proudly supported our partners in school districts and councils on aging across the region in working creatively and collaboratively to get food to people every day. From January 1 to July 31, ONT’s grocery programs distributed 845,000 pounds of wholesome foods to 4214 people across the region (up 11% and 24% respectively over last year).
How can we keep up with this increase of demand? Because our community is committed to ensuring everyone’s basic needs are met, even in a global crisis. You are each proving the “Unity” in Community. In just the first 90 days following the shutdown, more than 900 new donors reached out to support ONT’s work. Collectively, as local businesses were struggling, individuals in every community stepped forward and contributed a record $300,000 to keep food on the table for ONT’s guests.
“Uncertainty” seems to be the guiding principle for the near future. But there are 2 things I know for certain: 1) As this crisis continues, need for food assistance will continue to increase; and 2) ONT and its supporters will be here to respond. September is Hunger Action Month. I ask you to continue your resolve, reach out to friends and neighbors who need help, support our efforts by raising awareness, hosting virtual food drives, and, when you can, making a donation. We will continue to win this fight as we work in unity to keep our neighbors food-secure.
September is Hunger Action Month!
Join us for the Annual Breakfast Broadcast!
Volunteer Spotlight - Eve Lee
Eve Lee was not familiar with Our Neighbors’ Table when she was invited by a friend to attend ONT’s Annual Breakfast in October of 2016. “I saw all of the amazing things happening at this impactful organization and the amazing people that were involved and I was hooked,” Eve said of her first breakfast experience. She started volunteering in the Market a couple of Saturdays a month, which accommodated her travel schedule for her job in marketing at a medical device company. Soon Eve found herself on the fundraising committee, where she chaired and created ONT’s Fill ‘Em Up Fest. After joining the board in 2018, she started her term as board chair in June of this year. But her weekly volunteering in the Market remains a priority for her. Read more about Eve in this month's Volunteer Spotlight!