- Give the gift of food security – every dollar donated provides 1 meal for a neighbor. You have the power to make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season.
- Volunteer your time! In addition to our regular volunteer shifts, ONT will have additional shifts during the weeks of Nov. 19 – 23 and Dec. 17 – 21 to help with holiday grocery distribution. We will need extra hands to ensure a smooth process for our guests. If you have not volunteered before, please complete a volunteer application and attend orientation before volunteering in our programs.
- Hosting a holiday party or family gathering? Make it impactful during the season of giving by asking your guests to bring a donation to ONT to help a family this holiday season. Whether it be a financial donation, gift cards or non-perishable food items, your guests can brighten the holiday season for their neighbors. If you are planning to collect food donations or host a food drive, please reach out to Melanie for more information.
- Don’t know what to give the person who has everything? Looking for the perfect hostess gift? Consider a donation to ONT in their honor! We will send the person a letter notifying them of your gift (if you provide their name and address). And if you donate online, your email donation receipt includes a card at the bottom that you can print and give to the recipient. Corporate groups have also made a donation to ONT in honor of their partners or employees for the holidays. What better holiday gift than the gift of food security!
- Join the Breakfast Club and make giving a priority year round! You can set up a monthly (or quarterly or weekly) donation on your credit card or through your bank. Breakfast Club members give regularly so every person can begin their day with wholesome and nutritious food throughout the year.
- Interested in volunteering as a group? ONT has sponsor and serve opportunities at the Wednesday Meal and in the Market. Groups of up to 8 come together to either serve the 3 course Wednesday Meal or assist guests with their weekly shopping in the Market. There are a few 2019 dates available in the Market, but the Wednesday Meal is booked through 2019 so make it part of your new year’s resolution and schedule your 2020 date.
The holidays are a time of cheer and gratitude as folks enjoy spending time with loved ones and celebrating the joys of the season. What better way to say "thank you" for your life’s blessings than to pay it forward? Read on to find out ways to give back this holiday season with ONT.
Our Neighbors’ Table is thrilled to be one of the local nonprofits sharing in Cummings Foundation’s $25 million grant program in 2019. We are honored to have been awarded a $500,000 Sustaining Grant, to be disbursed in $50,000 increments over 10 years.
In 2018, ONT declared Amesbury a Food-Secure City. Through years of building awareness of need, normalizing asking for help, and establishing a flexible, community-based network of food resources, ONT has been able to create and sustain universal access to nutritious food for all Amesbury residents. This 10-year partnership with Cummings will enable ONT to replicate this model across the other 11 towns we serve, reaching over 6,000 individuals each year throughout the second half of the grant term and ensuring food security in our region.
“To be able to project a vision for 10 years out was kind of cool,” said Lyndsey Haight, Executive Director. “When we thought out that far, we realized that by 2029, every one of our communities could be food secure. This grant will allow us to have the resources upfront so we can respond quickly and address needs as they are given to us by the community.”
Lori Townsend, Program Director, and Alice Tonry, Development Associate, represented the nonprofit at a May 2 awards night at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn with the other sustaining grant awardees. There the Foundation shared the following feedback from the Sustaining Grants Selection Committee about ONT.
“The staff and volunteers at Our Neighbors’ Table are knowledgeable and passionate about food insecurity and have an innovative approach to help families and individuals. Its strategic approach is impressive, and its model is replicable. It’s at the forefront of reducing stigma that prevents people from seeking and accepting food assistance. The staff is passionate about their mission, results driven, and willing to think outside the box to reach the people who need them the most. We left the site visit sufficiently wowed.”
The Sustaining Grants initiative builds on Cummings Foundation’s $100K for 100 program. First offered in 2012, $100K for 100 annually awards $10 million through multi-year grants of $100,000 each to 100 nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties. Grant recipients that received their final grant disbursements in 2018 were automatically considered for $15 million in Sustaining Grants.
“We introduced Sustaining Grants to help alleviate the constant burden of fundraising so nonprofit professionals can spend more of their limited time and resources on actually providing services,” said Christina Berthelsen, grants manager at Cummings Foundation.
Cummings Foundation has awarded nearly $250 million to date in Greater Boston alone. Funds are generated through commercial properties that are owned by, and operated for the sole benefit of, Cummings Foundation. All of its buildings are managed pro bono by Woburn commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties.
Sustaining Grants winners were selected primarily by a 33-member volunteer committee, which included former state legislators, CEOs of local companies, and a retired justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, among many others. Committee members met with each nonprofit twice to learn how the $100K for 100 funds helped to advance its mission, and how it might put a 10-year grant to use.
“We are grateful to the Sustaining Grants Selection Committee, Bill & Joyce Cummings and the Cummings Foundation for this investment in service with dignity and food security,” Haight said.
About Our Neighbors’ Table
Hunger comes in many forms. Our Neighbors' Table's innovative approach to food assistance is aimed at providing flexible, personalized programs to individuals and families living in northeastern Essex County. Guests of Our Neighbors' Table have access to fresh, wholesome food and dignified experiences when and where they need it. ONT’s services include a weekly meal, a weekly market, four community-based mobile markets, a home delivery program, 24/7 emergency food assistance, a summer lunch program for children and their families, and three holiday grocery programs. The ONT grocery programs provided groceries, fresh foods, and toiletries to more than 4,100 individuals in 2018. Every summer, we provide breakfast, lunch and snacks to 1,000 children; each holiday season, we distribute special groceries and turkeys to more than 900 families.
About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the three largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date has been to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.
Throughout the month of April, local restaurants are teaming up to Fill Your Neighbor’s Plate, a campaign designed to support Our Neighbors’ Table’s mission to provide nourishing food to the thousands of local residents in need. The campaign will be featured in a growing list of restaurants including: Agave, The Grog, Lexie’s, Metzy’s Cantina, Michael’s Harborside, Mr. India, the Port Tavern, Paddle Inn and The Poynt (Newburyport); Crave, The Coop Rotisserie, Trina’s Starlite, and Phat Cats Bistro (Amesbury); and Capri and Seaglass (Salisbury).
Diners are invited to add a “virtual meal” - tax-deductible donation to ONT - to their restaurant bill. Suggested donation amounts are: $10, enough to provide a week’s worth of fresh produce, meats and dairy to a guest shopping in Our Neighbors’ Table’s markets; or $25 to support a family of four dining at ONT’s Wednesday Meal for an entire month. Every $1 puts another meal on the table for a local individual or family in need.
“This campaign is so important to help raise awareness of hunger in our community. With more than 6,000 people struggling to keep food on their tables each day, every bit that people can pitch in makes a real difference,” said Lyndsey Haight, Executive Director of Our Neighbors’ Table. “We are thankful to our restaurant partners for helping to spread our mission to their guests and to all of the diners who donate a virtual meal to feed a neighbor.”
Hunger affects 1 out of every 16 people living in northeastern Essex County. That means there are 6,000 neighbors with empty plates on their tables. Even more staggering, 1 out of every 5 of our seniors and 1 out of every 8 children in our region are struggling through each day without enough food. Our Neighbors’ Table has eliminated the traditional approach of strict schedules, cumbersome qualification and limited food selection by offering people-centric experiences and access to fresh, wholesome food when and where people throughout northeastern Essex County need it. Our grocery programs provide food assistance to individuals and families living in Amesbury, Boxford, Byfield, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, South Hampton (NH), and West Newbury. Visit ourneighborstable.org for more information.
Thank you to our 2019 restaurant partners!
One year ago, the Jardis-Taylor Center for Our Neighbors' Table opened its doors. The creation of this groundbreaking facility was the result of years of visioning and a steadfast commitment from an entire community to create a place for everyone. It was in those efforts, in the rallying of volunteers, donors, community leaders, that the Spoon Platoon was born. Today, the pioneers of the Spoon Platoon adorn the walls of ONT in a living wall sculpture that will continue to grow as more and more community members step forward to help us spread food security across the region.
The wood and aluminum sculpture was created through a collaboration between local artists Ryan Kelley (Wire by Ryan) and Stephen Martin.
"As donations for the capital campaign started to come in, we were inspired by the support and wanted to share that inspiration. We launched the 'Spoon Platoon' as a way to symbolize our desire to march hunger out of our community," explains Lyndsey Haight, Executive Director. To join the Spoon Platoon donors gave a commitment of $1,000 or more. "It became really fun when groups would come together to make the donations on behalf of their families and neighborhoods or in memory of lost loved ones; it was exactly the kind of community engagement we were hoping for," Haight recalls.
The debut of the Spoon Platoon Sculpture featured 171 spoons engraved with individuals, businesses, families, and even neighborhoods who contributed to ONT's Capital Campaign and supported its programs while the new facility was being constructed. The installation was unveiled at a reception on June 13th at The Jardis-Taylor Center.
In addition to the tribute to the many donors who joined the ranks of the Spoon Platoon, the reception also included recognition of the leadership donors who helped drive the success of the $1.1 million Campaign to Create a Place for Everyone. "The vision for a new home for our programs began 7 years ago among our small Board of Directors. That was the first charge they gave me upon joining ONT," remembers Haight. "We never imagined the need would have grown as much as it has, but that has never deterred us. We dreamed this was possible and stayed committed to that vision. None of it would be possible without our entire community, without Greg, without those strong leaders who believe in investing in the food security of our neighbors."
Our Neighbors' Table extends a heartfelt thanks to Greg Jardis, Institution for Savings, J Charitable Endeavors, Amesbury Health Care Charitable Trust, The Edward S. & Winifred G. Moseley Foundation, The McDonagh Family Foundation, The Capolupo Family, Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, The Peter & Margaret Kiely Charitable Fund, Murray Bailey, Frank Childs & Sally Delaney, J. Bennett & Company, and W.C. Cammett Engineering and to all those who gave so generously to build The Jardis-Taylor Center and the mission of Our Neighbors' Table.
YOU can join the SPOON PLATOON today! Read more...
Starve Hunger. Feed Hope.
Could you go a day without toilet paper? I sure couldn't. For many of our guests, something most of us take for granted is a luxury they can't afford. Each week, ONT gives one roll of toilet paper to each household who comes to our pantry. While guests may pick and choose different food items, everyone always says "yes" to this offering.
Imagine trying to get your life in order, but you don't have enough money to purchase toilet paper, soap, shampoo, or toothpaste. Imagine having to go for a job interview, but you haven't been able to brush your teeth for a week. Imagine your daughter's classmate trying to fit in, but facing ridicule because she has not been able to wash her hair. What would this do to your self confidence? At the core of ONT's mission is to serve our neighbors with kindness and dignity. Offering toiletries in our weekly pantry is just as important as providing food. These personal care items feed our guests' sense of confidence and personal dignity and support their overall health. Even if a family receives WIC or SNAP (food stamps), these benefits cannot be used to purchase essentials like soap and toilet paper.
Our pantry is very low on toiletries. We need your help to continue to nurture our guests' sense of self. The next time you are shopping or clipping coupons for discounts on toothpaste or shampoo, please consider buying a few extra items for our pantry. Donations can be dropped off at our office Monday through Saturday or put in donation bins located at Citizens Bank/Stop & Shop or Vermette's Market. For more information about toiletries in our food pantry, please feel free to contact our Pantry Director, Lori Townsend.