William “Will” Mauch is a 20-year-old Amesbury resident who works behind the scenes restocking the Our Neighbors’ Table market. Will started volunteering with ONT when he was in high school, energetically lugging food up and down the stairs in our old basement food storage area, helping guests bring groceries to their cars, and greeting folks in the old pantry. About volunteering in the Jardis-Taylor center verses our old facility Will says, “There’s more space, easier to find things, it is very organized. I like the system of shopping with carts. It’s a nice building, I like it a lot.”
This fall, Will enters his sophomore year at Landmark College, studying Liberal Arts. Will first got involved with ONT through donating to food drives organized by his church, Saint James Episcopal Church in Amesbury. This summer Will has become a crucial part of ONT’s market support operations, stocking shelves and making sure the market is up to ONT’s high quality standard before it opens every Thursday. He even has contributed to our volunteer recruitment, he convinced his friend Brandon to work alongside him in the market this summer. Will and Brandon bring young energy and meticulous care to their time volunteering in the ONT market. Will generously shares a bit of his time and dynamism with ONT by volunteering. When asked why he volunteers he declares, “At first it was for volunteer hours, but now it is because I like helping people out. It feels good to help people who need it and to give back to the community.”
Now in its seventh year, ONT’s Summer Lunch Program is bigger than ever with 300 children already enrolled and a second distribution site added! The 8-week program, running July 5-August 26, provides extra groceries for healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks to families with school-aged children. This year we expanded our program to include a distribution site at the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Merrimack Valley in Salisbury. SLP helps cover the gap left when kids are no longer receiving free- or reduced lunch through their schools. We’re saving each family nearly $150 per month per child! To sign up for the Summer Lunch Program, call 978-388-1907. ONT is currently competing for $10,000 through KIND snacks’ KIND Causes. Vote for ONT today!
ONT’s programs are funded primarily through donations from local individuals, businesses and foundations. As need in our region continues to grow, their continued generosity will ensure we never have to turn anyone away. Our Neighbors’ Table recognizes those donors who are really leading the charge through our Spoon Platoon program, which was officially inaugurated on June 13th with the installation of a beautiful living sculpture created by local artists Ryan Kelley and Stephen Martin. Engraved spoons commemorate families, neighborhood groups, local businesses, and individuals who have made food security in our community a philanthropic priority, supporting the construction of The Jardis-Taylor Center for Our Neighbors’ Table as well as our day-to-day programs. YOU can join the Spoon Platoon today!
How can YOU help???
Your support opens the door for new guests every day. Every $1=1 more meal on the table!
Save the Date: September 9
FILL EM UP FEST! Food truck festival on Newburyport's waterfront! Tickets and details coming later this month.
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...
As we approach the holidays, so many of you are thinking of ways to give back. ONT is lucky to have such a generous community. In Amesbury, our busy food drive season kicked off with a bang with great drives organized by AHS students at the election polls and Scout Packs 4 & 7 in their annual Scouting for Food Drive. Combined, these drives brought in $1800 and more than 2,000 pounds of food! Thank you, all, for such a great job!
If you're going to the Amesbury-Newburyport Thanksgiving Football Game, the Boosters from both rival cities will host their annual food collection.
And, in case food drives aren't what you're looking for, you can host your own event. What better reason to have a party than to celebrate the holidays and invite your friends and family to support your favorite organization - Our Neighbors' Table? New this year - ONT now has a Giving Tree Program! Host a Giving Tree in your home or place of business, complete with tags for donations that will help feed your neighbors in need throughout the year. We've even created the tags for you! Email Joan.email@example.com for a complete Giving Tree kit or for tips on organizing your holiday party.
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.