It was a rainy, blustery morning on October 26, but we were warmed by the spirit of community at ONT’s Annual Breakfast. It was wonderful to gather safely in-person with new and old friends while still broadcasting to our audience at home. Dana Marshall emceed our morning and led a conversation with Pam Kealey of Newburyport Public Schools and Tress Ricker, ONT's Food Resource Advocate, about what they are hearing from our guests and neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity first-hand. Tress and Pam shared a critical perspective of community members who are living with food insecurity every day. It is crucial for us to continue to solicit feedback to ensure we are truly meeting the needs to inform our collective work going forward.
ONT’s Executive Director Lyndsey Haight shared an update about vision for a region where universal food access is a reality and ensuring that we as a community are doing more than keeping people hunger-free. Lyndsey shared about how the creation and expansion of ONT’s state-of-the-art markets in 2016 and 18 have reached thousands of people and serve as a model to reshape community-based food safety nets across the country. Every day someone shops or dines with Our Neighbors’ Table is a day they are hunger free. And every day they know they can count on us to catch them if they fall tomorrow, if something goes wrong and even in a global pandemic – is a day they can feel food secure.
The Breakfast was also a time of celebration to recognize our 2021 Community Champions. The Town of Salisbury was honored for their partnership and commitment to food security as a social and economic issue that affects everyone in their community. Bill Ginivian and Clarissa Taylor were recognized as Community Champions for their outstanding volunteer service and leadership within the ONT community. Congratulations to all!
Special thanks to our sponsors for their generous support. By uniting together as a community, our sponsors, donors and partners made it possible to provide nearly 80,000 meals to our neighbors! The recording of the broadcast is available to watch. The live program content starts at the 50 minute mark.
ONT’s Annual Breakfast is a time when we typically gather together and chart our progress toward making sure all of our neighbors have access to wholesome, nutritious food every day. This year, while we could not gather in-person, it was more critical than ever for us to see how we are meeting the unprecedented need across the region.
The Annual Breakfast was broadcast live from ONT’s Market at the Jardis-Taylor Center on October 20. This year’s theme was “Unity in Community” in honor of the extraordinary efforts of so many to ensure our neighbors have food on their tables. Despite the virtual nature, the spirit of ONT was alive and captured thanks to pre-record videos of ONT partners, volunteers and former guests. Viewers saw that universal food access is possible, even in a pandemic, when a community comes together.
ONT Board Member Dana Marshall of 92.5 the River returned to emcee the morning and hosted a conversation with former guest Dot, who bravely and movingly shared her story. Dana also presented the 2020 community champion awards, another highlight of the broadcast. Beloved ONT volunteer and board member Bob Murciak was honored as the individual champion for his unwavering dedication to ONT. The four school districts of Amesbury, Newburyport, Pentucket and Triton were recognized as champions for going above and beyond to connect their neighbors and students with food in this unprecedented time. Congratulations 2020 Community Champions!
Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Institution for Savings, who kicked the broadcast off with a surprise $10,000 match challenge. This challenge helped ONT raise a record-breaking $80,000, which will put over 80,000 meals on the tables of our neighbors. Thanks to everyone who gave and helped spread the word to exceed that challenge! Thank you also to all of our sponsors, who supported this event and hosted virtual watch parties. And huge thanks to LMV Productions for donating his time and talent behind the camera to make the broadcast an inspiring one.
The recording of the Breakfast broadcast is available if you’d like to view the inspiring morning. Stay tuned to our social media channels as we continue celebrating Unity in Community throughout the rest of the year!
This year’s annual breakfast was a celebration of the incredible growth in service thanks to the support of our community. In 2016, Our Neighbors’ Table provided 550,000 meals to nearly 3,000 local residents. This year we will fill one million plates for our neighbors in need – already reaching our projections for 2020.
This time last year, approximately 800 shoppers came through our market each month. Today, that number tops 1400 in a 4 week period. Guests are responding more than ever to the new level of dignity, effectiveness and efficiency offered by the Jardis-Taylor Center. And we anticipate that response to only continue to grow in the coming year as we seek to expand our programs to alleviate hunger for more individuals. Thank you to all the community partners, volunteers and supporters who have shaped our mission over the last 25 years. You are what is going to make our work possible for as long as there are people in our community who are hungry. In this spirit, the breakfast honored the Institution for Savings and Jim & Pat Smith, longtime volunteers, for their incredible support and contributions to ONT as the 2017 Community Champions.
We were thrilled to have over 200 attendees join us for the annual breakfast. Special thanks to Dana Marshall of 92.5 the River for serving as event emcee. We were also honored to have Erin Lynch, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry, join us to share her moving story of her family’s personal struggle with hunger. The event closed with exciting announcement of a $5,000 challenge match from an anonymous donor and our guests were more than up for the challenge! They responded with $11,000 in donations, bringing our total raised to over $27,000 and putting over 27,000 meals on the table!
Thank you to all of our sponsors who helped make the event possible!
Our Neighbors' Table is thrilled to announce that Dana Marshall, On Air Host with 92.5 the River, will the the Emcee for the 2017 Annual Breakfast! We are fortunate to also have Erin Lynch, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry, join us as the 2017 Guest Speaker.
2017 Emcee: Dana Marshall of 92.5 the River
Dana jumped into radio in Vermont in the 90s and never looked back. In 2000, she moved to Newburyport to begin what would be a long and satisfying career at the River. During her tenure (to date), Dana was Music/Program Director, On Air Host, and creator of such radio programs as Acoustic After Dark and the Boston favorite, Brunch by the River. Dana was instrumental in creating and curating the Newburyport Riverfront Festival in conjunction with the Newburyport Chamber. “It’s become one of the things I’m proudest of – bringing a premiere, free music festival to the Port!” Dana said. Mother of a grown daughter living and thriving in Colorado, Dana lives in the Newburyport area with her “partner in everything,” Marshall, as well as a 3 year old yellow lab, Jazz.
2017 Guest Speaker: Erin Lynch, Franklin Food Pantry
Erin has dedicated the past twenty years of her career to strengthening nonprofit organizations. She holds national certification in Nonprofit Leadership through the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Innovation. In her previous roles she served as Executive Director of a seventeen-organization strategic alliance, secured a multimillion dollar community grant for the Phoenix area, administered the Arizona Department of Economic Security Volunteer Services contract, and served with the Points of Light Foundation. She currently resides in Franklin with her two children and enjoys working with this community towards a time when no children go hungry.
Please join us at the Annual Breakfast to celebrate a year of amazing growth for Our Neighbors' Table! We are on track to serve 1 million meals this year, nearly double what we served in 2016. This incredible impact is thanks to the support ONT receives from the community. Tickets and sponsorships to the Annual Breakfast are still available, click here to purchase.
Our Neighbors' Table Annual Breakfast
"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."
YOU can join the SPOON PLATOON today! Read more...
Most Needed Items
Canned Solid White Tuna
Canned Meals (Ravioli, SpaghettiOs®, Beef Stew)
Bottled Juice/Juice boxes
Boxed Pasta and Rice
Diapers & baby wipes
The pantries are very grateful to the National Association of Letter Carriers for this very important drive, and are hoping that the public will donate as generously as possible to help them feed the individuals and families who come to them each day for assistance. Letter carriers will pick up food donations left at customers’ mailboxes on the morning of Saturday, May 13.
Most Needed Items
The pantries appreciate all donations of non-perishable food items and personal care products, but are particularly in need of the following:
Gluten-free foods, Peanut Butter, Canned Solid White Tuna, Canned Chicken, Baked Beans, Canned Meals (Ravioli, SpaghettiOs®, Beef Stew), Canned Fruit, Bottled Juice, Juice boxes, Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Cereal, Pasta, Boxed Pasta and Rice, Soup, Toothpaste, Shampoo, Deodorant, Diapers, baby wipes and feminine products. (NOTE: Glass jars sometimes break during this collection – consider plastic/canned options instead!)
Please help us by checking expiration/best buy dates on your donations. Remember to only donate things that you would want to eat yourself!
If You Miss the Food Drive and Would Still Like to Donate
If you miss the food drive and would like to make a donation, please contact one of the pantries below for information about dropping off items directly. Each of the pantries would be very grateful to accept your donations!
Did You Know?
- The food pantries listed above collectively serve residents in the following cities and towns: Amesbury, South Hampton, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, West Newbury, Groveland, Byfield, Boxford, Rowley and Georgetown.
- Currently, there are more than 6,000 people living in northeastern Essex County who are struggling with food insecurity. That’s 1 out of 16 people, 1 out of 8 children, and 1 out of 5 seniors. (Greater Boston Food Bank/feedingamerica.org)
- More than 3,000 individuals accessed food assistance from the local food pantries in 2016.
Community Action, Inc., Amesbury: Dianne Halloran, 44A Friend Street (978) 388-2570
Community Services, Newburyport: Betty Leary, 31 Green St (978) 465-7562
Our Neighbors’ Table, Amesbury/Merrimac: Lori Townsend, 194 Main Street (978)388-1907 www.ourneighborstable.org
The Pettengill House, Inc., Salisbury: Richard Henderson, 13 Lafayette Road (978) 463-8801 www.pettengillhouse.org/
Our VIP tent, sponsored by Stone Ridge Properties, will give our team the support they need and deserve to make their day a success. Show them your support by cheering them on along the race route!
Josiah Lilly: I have decided to run out hunger because I believe food should not be considered a luxury and it has become a class issue in this country. I believe that Our Neighbors Table has a tremendous impact on our local community and I'm honored to help.
Peter Siess: As someone who has a passion for both running and Amesbury, joining the Run Out Hunger Team was an easy decision. I joined to support the organization that I feel is a great asset for the Amesbury community, and challenge myself to be a part of the solution in helping those in need
Stephanie Watson Yaeger: When I heard about this team, I couldn't resist the opportunity to join, run with and fundraise for ONT. My reason is "Why Not?!" This is a great way to give back to a local community and "why not" add an extra challenge and fundraise for an amazing non-profit! I am so grateful for the opportunity to help my neighbors in any way I can. Thank you ONT!
Kathryn Racanelli: I am an art therapist working with adults with severe mental illness and co-occurring addictions. Most of my clients are on a fixed income or have no income and often struggle with food stability. I saw the races and thought it'd be a great way to get back into running and also raising awareness of an ever-present struggle.
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!
Pantry programs will begin at the Jardis-Taylor Center this Thursday, May 19. We look forward to welcoming our guests to the new market! New hours are:
Our Wednesday meal continues at the Main Street Congregational Church, 145 Main Street, every Wednesday, 4:00p - 6:00p
The Ale House is hosting a party to celebrate Tom Brady's birthday AND to support Our Neighbors' Table on Monday, August 3, 6:00pm. The event is open to the public and will feature a live drawing for a pair of tickets to see Tom Brady and the New England Patriots play at Gillette Stadium (Sect 204) and a framed, autographed action photo of the MVP Quarterback! Tickets are being sold through August 1st at the ONT office or online.
In addition to the live drawing for the Pats tickets, the Ale House has also secured lots of other fun prizes, including a pair of BRUINS TICKETS to be raffled off that night! Remember, this event is open to the public, so get there early! And get your Patriots Raffle tickets now!
Thank you to ONT Board member Frank Childs for donating the tickets, to the New England Patriots for the autographed photo, and to Newburyport Framers for generously providing the custom framing.