The holidays are upon us once again. For many, this will be a reunion of loved ones who could not gather last year. It’s a time to give thanks and treasure the little things that we can often take for granted. Smiles, laughter, and hugs are back! Every year, ONT offers all of the food to go along with these celebrations – from turkeys to pies, turnips to gravy. More than 1,000 holiday celebrations will be “catered” with food from ONT’s markets or lasagnas prepared by our Wednesday Meal chefs.
Your support of and participation in ONT’s mission is so much more than making sure your neighbor doesn’t go hungry over the holidays. ONT’s vision is for everyone in our community to be food secure all year long – that means everyone can know for certain that they will have 3 healthy meals a day, every day, always. And, together, we are making that happen.
We learned earlier this year, that the average family saves $300/month when they shop at ONT for groceries. Imagine what that $300 can mean to a family at Christmas time! Imagine what it means to a dad who can keep the heat on through the winter so his kids can sleep peacefully. Imagine what it means for a mom who has to pay for gas to get to work every day.
Today, I send my sincerest thanks to all of our community members who show up every day. To all who are packing groceries, stocking the freezer, driving our trucks, chopping onions, making phone calls or home deliveries, sending in a donation, sharing our tweets, and spreading the word – thank you! To all of you who see that, together, we are not just defending against hunger today, but building the hope and security for tomorrow – thank you and peace be with you.
ONT's Annual Breakfast Returns to Blue Ocean!
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. We are thankful for the chance to bring everyone together to remind ourselves of the importance of addressing food insecurity as both a social and economic condition that affects every aspect of our community. It was an honor to celebrate our 2021 Community Champions - congratulations to the Town of Salisbury (pictured above), Bill Ginivan and Clarissa Taylor. Special thanks to our sponsors and all who joined us to raise funds to provide nearly 80,000 meals to our neighbors! Read more about the Annual Breakfast ››
Food Drive Fun!
Volunteer Spotlights - Bill Ginivan & Clarissa Taylor
News & Events
Thanksgiving Recipe from ONT's Heather Paterson
CommUNITY: Stronger Together
From a small group of individuals to now engaging thousands of local residents and leaders who commit their time and resources to food security, working together is what helped us reach and sustain food security in Amesbury since 2018, it has kept food available and accessible though the pandemic, and it is precisely what will help us reach food security across our region.
Last fall, ONT secured $141,000 from the Massachusetts Food Security Infrastructure Grant on behalf of tour Seacoast Food Provider and Food Security Advisory Group partners. In the last months, our partners were able to install new refrigerators, pantry fixtures, and stoves to help them offer more fresh foods and keep up with need for services. The grant also provided food processing, refrigeration and grab-n-go cases for the Newburyport, Triton and Pentucket school districts. A new delivery van will be shared among all of the partners to help with the increased need for home deliveries.
ONT routinely surveys our guests to know if we're meeting their needs and to inform how we structure and schedule our programs. A survey of nearly 500 households revealed that we're hitting the mark!
Are we meeting their food needs? 83% say YES!
Are we creating a safe and welcoming environment? 93% say we're doing an EXCELLENT job!
Are we saving them money? YES! 52% report saving up to $50/week; 30% save up to $100/week!
Do we provide the variety, quantity and healthy food our neighbors need and want? More than 95% grade us as EXCELLENT/GOOD!
Volunteer Spotlight, Jeanne Langis
Volunteer, Jeanne Langis, has been helping out with Our Neighbors’ Table’s markets for about five years. “I heard about them (ONT) and I grew up kind of hard and I wanted to give back,” said Jeanne. Thanks to Jeanne, our Market has been stocked over the years and has made sure the Newburyport Market is also set up and ready to go. Throughout the entirety of the pandemic, Jeanne has volunteered three times a week making sure all the dry goods are packed for every guest’s grocery order. “For months and months I asked if she needed or wanted to take a day off and she always said no. She might have taken three days off since March 2020. She’s wonderful,” said Market Manager, Hannah. Jeanne has been a constant in a year filled with change. “I love the people and the idea that I’m helping people, that I’m making a contribution,” said Jeanne. Read more of Jeanne's spotlight here.
It’s hard to believe that five years have already passed since we opened the Jardis-Taylor Center for Our Neighbors’ Table. Occasionally, we still welcome back someone who last came to visit while we were still operating at the Main Street Congregational Church. Their reactions are always the same – first they stand up straight thanks to the enhanced head clearance in our warehouse, then their eyes and mouths widen in awe at the visceral experience of how the building has elevated our mission. When we - staff, volunteers and guests – gathered to design the JTC, we dared to dream of what could be. When we officially opened the doors in May 2016, we saw those dreams come to reality. But that was only the beginning.
In the last five years, as a direct result of opening the Jardis-Taylor Center, ONT has more than doubled the number of people it serves, has significantly increased the percent of fresh produce, meats and dairy going into every household, and has turned over the power and decision making to each guest to decide what food they bring home to feed their family. And, perhaps the most exciting milestone, we declared Amesbury our first food-secure city knowing that quality food is universally available and accessible to all residents, even – and especially – in a pandemic. What inspires me as we look ahead is to see that ONT’s Market model and focus on Service with Dignity is becoming a favored model across the country.
To all of you who had the courage to break the mold and help us shape this work five years ago, this success is yours. To all of you who have joined this mission since we’ve opened the JTC, thank you for keeping an open mind and daring to serve differently. And to all of you who serve as ambassadors of kindness and food security, we look forward to continuing to shape this work with you in the years to come.
The growth that happened when the doors of the Jardis-Taylor Center for Our Neighbors' Table opened in May of 2016 was beyond anyone's expectations. By 2017, Our Neighbors' Table had exceeded 2020 projections of providing 1,000,000 meals annually and the number of neighbors served each year had nearly doubled. This service delivery would not be possible without ONT's team of incredible volunteers. Thank you to the 1,919 volunteers who have worked over 38,000 shifts over the last 5 years to help make this impact possible. Follow along on ONT's Facebook and Instagram over the next week as we reminisce and celebrate 5 years of impact at the Jardis-Taylor Center!
Volunteer Spotlight - Bob Mazzone
Bob Mazzone was first introduced to Our Neighbors’ Table in 2002 when he was the director of Amesbury Housing Authority. Bob would see the mission in action when he would call ONT to help get food for one of his new tenants and their cupboards would be filled within hours. “That’s when I became a devotee,” Bob said, “I saw the light.”
Bob has been a devoted ONT volunteer since his retirement—helping in whatever way is needed from driving our trucks to unloading groceries at a mobile market to building custom pallets. Bob also served on the building committee for the Jardis-Taylor Center, helping ONT find its new home and using his innovative energy to create a safe and efficient new Warehouse that is essential to ONT’s grocery distribution. Read more about Bob in this month's Volunteer Spotlight ››
News & Events
ONT's Summer Lunch Program Returns!
In like a lion, out like a lamb. This March marks one year since every aspect of our operation shifted to adapt to COVID-19. Frankly, we’ve had enough lion to last us for the next decade. As we head into 2021, we’ll be channeling the lion’s courage with the calmness of the lamb. We’ll be taking the creativity, flexibility, and determination to provide food to our community and delivering it with kindness and dignity that have shaped our mission for the last 29 years.
Our Annual Report will be released in the next few weeks, but here’s a sneak peak: 5,100 of our neighbors turned to ONT for food in 2020, more than 1600 of them coming for help for the first time. Families with children represented more than 57% of those new faces. But every single one of them was able to shop for the food they needed each week, thanks to our unwavering corps of volunteers, our committed staff, a supportive Board of Directors, and all of the investments that YOU have made in building ONT to create universal food access, even in a pandemic.
Not since last March, have you seen long lines at ONT’s distribution sites. Don’t confuse this calm scene with a lack of need. In fact, there are now more than 10,000 neighbors facing food insecurity. As we reach more and more people, we are committed to serving our community in a way that respects our guests’ dignity, the preciousness of their time, and the need for certainty in putting food on their tables. Our online shopping portal, convenient curbside pick-ups, take-out dinners, and friendly phone support will continue to work behind the scenes to ensure that food remains universally available to all of our neighbors. We’re going to need to continue to invest in our infrastructure to ensure we can meet the need. The establishment of our Ward J Cromer Legacy Society will help us look beyond the year ahead, to prepare us for the lions of the future. There are many things from the past year that we’d like to leave in the past, but we’ll carry forward the lessons we’ve learned, the strength of our growing community of people committed to food security, and the trust we’ve built with each of our neighbors.
Our Unity perseveres,
News & Events
Ward J Cromer Legacy Society
Last year, ONT launched our formal planned giving program, allowing donors to create a legacy that feeds the future for generations to come. This growing circle of individuals and families who have made this commitment to food security are now part of the Ward J Cromer Legacy Society. Dr. Ward J. Cromer's legacy gift in 2019 gave Our Neighbors' Table the opportunity to expand our work to create food secure communities across our region. Dr. Cromer, a a Massachusetts General Hospital psychologist and gifted teacher, had a generous spirit and passion for helping children and people around the world. His parting gift will continue to impact our neighbors and provide food security for generations to come. Dr. Cromer’s life in service to others and his vision for the impacting the future inspired ONT to name the Ward J Cromer Legacy Society in his honor.
Volunteer Spotlight - Dave and Sam Lyman
Meet the dynamic father and son duo, Dave and Sam Lyman! Jen, Dave’s wife and Sam’s mom, had attended volunteer orientation in early 2020 and introduced the rest of her family to the organization. Knowing that the pandemic was impacting so many people, Dave and Sam wanted to give back by doing something at ONT. They began volunteering together in ONT’s Warehouse, helping to ensure the Market is well-stocked and ready to go for our grocery packers. As long-time Newburyport residents, both Dave and Sam love helping to put food on their neighbors’ tables. “I like helping out and knowing that I am doing something good for the community,” Sam said. Read more about Dave and Sam in this month's Volunteer Spotlight ››
ONT's volunteers are amazing and everyone knows it!
A healthy staff. Passionate volunteers. A community committed to keeping everyone fed – even in a pandemic. YOU. My family. And the few minutes of serenity I can find here and there. These are all things I’m thankful for this holiday season.
Since my last note to you in August, we’ve registered 303 new guests, including 74 children and 63 seniors, to our grocery programs. Every one of them have been welcomed without question, shop for their groceries online, and have been able to put 15,000 meals on their tables. Including turkeys and all the Thanksgiving fixings.
The holidays are a time for us to give thanks and celebrate with our loved ones. Holidays can also be a time of sorrow and loneliness, particularly this year. Over the last two months, we’ve been highlighting the Unity in our Community, and there’s no better time to keep this at the forefront of our minds than during the holidays. On social media, we’re sharing holiday traditions that we can share virtually or that remind us of our friends and family while we’re apart. I invite you to share yours with us! Simple things like a good ol’ fashion phone call, dropping off a side dish, or a handwritten card go a long way to let your neighbors know you care. If you’re inclined, you could even consider a virtual Friendsgiving or holiday party using ONT’s online virtual food drive page. Like everything else, the 2020 holidays will be different this year. But one thing remains – the strong commUNITY that bonds us.
Stay safe, be well, and spread joy,
Annual Breakfast Celebrates Unity in Community
This year, while we could not gather in-person for the Annual Breakfast, it was more critical than ever for ONT to share how we are meeting the unprecedented need across the region. ONT's Annual Breakfast was broadcast live from the Market at the Jardis-Taylor Center on October 20. This Breakfast'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 well as viewers saw that universal food access is possible, even in a pandemic, when a community comes together. Thanks to a $10,000 challenge from presenting sponsor Institution for Savings, a record breaking $80,000 was raised! The recording of the broadcast is available if you'd like to view the inspiring morning.
News & Events
Volunteer Spotlight - Kathy Berman
Kathy Berman had been part of the ONT community as a donor for years. A Certified Public Accountant, Kathy says she had always planned to do “hands-on volunteering somewhere” when she retired. Once she cut back her work hours to part time, she decided to join ONT’s volunteer team and donate her time as well. These days you can find Kathy in our non-perishables stocking room on Saturdays, filling guests’ orders. When Kathy saw how things worked behind the scenes at ONT, she felt good about her decision to be a regular member of the volunteer crew and a donor. “What amazes me about here is that the guests have a choice in food,” Kathy says. “It makes me proud. I’m proud of this place.” Read more about Kathy in this month's Volunteer Spotlight ››
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!
From the Executive Director:
As I write, our world continues to change, affecting each of us differently. Right now is really hard, for so many, for so many different reasons. But it has been a call to action for many. From whichever chair you may be reading, I’d like to use this Table Talk to give you a moment of gratitude, hopefulness, and positivity. No matter what is happening in the world, I am grateful to spend every day here at ONT with the best of humanity. ONT’s spirit is still very present, no matter what our Market or Meal might physically look like. Volunteers and guests exchange warm smiles through the windshield, over the rims of their masks; friendly conversation rings through the phones; and online ordering gives a sliver of dignity and choice in a seemingly oppressive time.
In the last 5 years, we’ve been working to raise awareness of food insecurity. Together, we’ve invested in increasing food access, reducing the shame and stigma in seeking help, and ensuring that whether you are a single elder, or a young family getting on their feet, you never had to worry about your next meal. There is no greater test of our impact than a global public health and economic crisis. So how have we done?
Schools/A+ - Every one of the school districts mobilized to distribute free breakfast and lunch to all of their students within a week of closing.
Seniors/A+ – Councils on Aging, housing authorities and elder services kept meals on wheels and grocery delivery constant, even expanding as needed.
Leadership: A+ – Mayors, town managers and social service directors put food access at the top of their planning lists on day 1.
Community – A+ – YOU have reached out to offer your time, make donations, pick up an order for your neighbor, create apps so people could find food. When it mattered most, our community has rallied to keep food on every table.
Thurgood Marshall said “The measure of a country’s greatness is it’s ability to retain compassion in crisis.” Our commitment to take care of each other in good times has made it possible for our compassion to translate into food security even in this crisis. We continue to serve those who were already struggling, and, without hesitation, have opened our programs to hundreds more who are scraping by. Please, continue to beat this drum, letting your neighbors know we are here for them. We are here for you.
And for those of you who have so generously given what you can to this mission, including the more than 700 people who gave to ONT for the very first time, thank you. This crisis will eventually end. Our new reality is still yet to be defined. Our 2019 Annual Report highlights some of our finest moments pre-COVID; let’s commit to making them the hallmark of our future.
Be safe, be well, be kind.
Coronavirus Impact by the Numbers
Volunteer Spotlight - Heather McPeake
When Heather McPeake sat in ONT’s community room for volunteer orientation in the summer of 2018, she never imagined she would be in the same room; packing grocery orders in a face mask. Heather and her daughter came to ONT because they wanted to do something together to give back to their community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Heather found herself working from her home in Amesbury 4 days a week for a law firm. “I hadn’t volunteered for awhile and I was feeling like I wanted to do something help during the crisis,” Heather said. And help she is! Heather has answered the call and is helping in 2 crucial areas of ONT’s program operations. Read this month's Volunteer Spotlight ››
News & Updates
Virtual Food Drives
You can help stock ONT's Market safely from home by hosting a virtual food drive! Instead of collecting items in person, you'll collect financial donations that ONT will use to provide guests with fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and toiletries.
Thank you for making food security a priority in 2019, for elevating food insecurity as a real issue in our community and for putting the investments in to address this fixable problem. Thank you for making it possible for us to serve more than 4,500 of your neighbors, providing them with fresh, wholesome foods when and where they need it. The year ahead holds ambitious goals to spread food security across our region and I hope you’ll stick with us.
The USDA defines Food Security as consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Our work, to-date, has been laser-focused on:
1. Enough food. ONT’s approach leaves behind the traditional food pantry model and replaces it with the traditional grocery store model – you come in weekly, you pick out the foods you like to and can eat, and you get as much of it as you need to feed your family. In 2019, ONT distributed 1.38 million pounds of food, two-thirds of which were high quality produce, meats, fish, and dairy.
2. Food to support a healthy lifestyle. Walk into any ONT market and you will immediately notice that fresh fruits and vegetables take center-stage. Guests shopping in our markets have long told us that they want to eat more fresh foods, but they simply can’t afford it. ONT is proud to partner with more than 2 dozen local growers and community gardens to bring fresh produce to our markets. Our partnership with the Greater Boston Food Bank and local food rescue partners have ensured that every shopper has year-round access to these foods. Foods they need and want to live an active, healthy lifestyle.
Now, 2020 will be the year we focus on tying it all together with the most important factor that separates temporary relief of hunger from true food security: Consistency.
Access to food today means you’re not hungry now. Reliable, consistent access to enough, quality food every day means you are food secure. From expanding our community markets, to providing tools to our pediatricians and educators to connect people to food, to shuttles from the Salisbury and Groveland Councils on Aging to the Amesbury market, we’re breaking down barriers so people can have access to food every day.
As we work together toward the goal of a food secure region, can you help us build consistency? This year, we are seeking to build our Breakfast Club, those giving across 12-months a year, ensuring our resources are ready and available whenever our neighbors need us. Last year, the Breakfast Club grew to nearly 100 members. Our goal this year is to get to at least 150. Is this the year you can build food security into your everyday life?
We’re ready to make the promise of food security. As I personally celebrate a decade here at ONT, I’m looking forward to the possibilities our future holds.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and food secure 2020,
Get your kids involved with ONT's mission!
Did you know you can volunteer at the ONT Market with your children? ONT’s WEE Can Help! program provides a wonderful opportunity for children ages 4-10 to come in for a Market Stocking shift! WEE Can Help! volunteers perform the important task of restocking our shelves after the Market has closed on Wednesdays from 4-5pm. This is a great chance for parents to teach their children about giving back to their community in a kid-friendly space. Find out more information here!
If you’re looking for an opportunity that is suitable for both individuals and groups, consider Fill ‘Em Up Bags! The goal for each person participating in Fill ‘Em Up Bags is to raise $30, which provides dinner to a child for a whole month! Each participant decorates their Fill ‘Em Up Bag, then ask friends and family to help fill the bag. Learn more about how your child can make a difference!
If you have any questions about family opportunities, please email Melanie or call her (978) 388-1907 x21.
Volunteer Spotlight - Rose Cole
Meet Rose Cole, a volunteer who wears many different hats at Our Neighbors’ Table. Rose heard about Our Neighbors’ Table through word of mouth, and first got involved in 2015 when ONT was headquartered out of the Main Street Congregational Church. Now, Rose volunteers every Thursday at the Newburyport Market, as well as every Friday doing check-in for the Amesbury Market, and Rose serves on the Volunteer Appreciation Committee. Rose says one of her favorite things about ONT is the camaraderie among volunteers, “When there’s a volunteer who has something going on in their life-- others help out. It feels really good to be a part of that.”
Rose was key in helping to start ONT’s Newburyport Market in 2018. ONT’s Mobile Market Manager Tracy Kane says, “It took a lot to get the Newburyport Market off the ground, and more importantly to show new guests coming to it that they were welcomed and safe. Rose was extremely helpful and patient while we got all that going, helping to demonstrate ONT’s core values.” Read more about Rose in this month's Volunteer Spotlight!
News & Events
Save the Dates! Planning your 2020 calendar? Be sure to pencil in these ONT events so you don't miss them!
Imagine a community where every child starts the school day with a nutritious breakfast, where their bodies and minds are nourished and their hearts are raised up by the village around them. The truth right now is that 1 out of 8 children in our region live in a food-insecure home. Their parents are struggling to make ends meet, trading heating bills for groceries or gas to get to work. And every day, our children are thinking about being hungry instead of focusing on learning.
Hunger feels like an insurmountable problem, but we’ve seen the difference we are making. This year’s Annual Breakfast gave us a glimpse into the future. We heard from Josh and Jill, who both turned to ONT – Josh as a teenager living on his own, Jill as a single mom seeking a better future for her sons – and who are now flourishing and paying it forward. We learned from their stories that it wasn’t easy to ask for help. But what a lesson it was for us to witness Jill sharing her experience with Dr. Lars Lundgren from Children’s Health Care. Fifteen years ago, Dr. Lundgren was Jill’s family pediatrician. Today, Dr. Lundgren is leading his practice as a Medical Home, partnering with ONT to integrate food security into health care.
ONT is excited about the new partnership with Children’s Health Care. Seeded with a 3-year grant from the Mary Alice Arakelian Foundation, this partnership gives families like Jill’s a trusted partner in their pediatrician where they can work together to connect the whole family with ONT’s programs. This is a growing practice in health care and ONT is proud to be leading the way.
Today, we don’t have to just imagine a community where every child is fed. We’ve created that here in Amesbury. Through our growing partnerships and by sharing our stories, we will soon have a food secure region. As we enter this holiday season, give thanks to those around us. Your local businesses, your elected officials, your teachers, your girl and boy scouts, your friends, and your neighbors. I thank you for being so bold to make this imagined place a real place right here.
ONT Now a SNAP Outreach Partner
SNAP is a monthly allowance provided so that you can purchase your groceries in any local grocery store. The money is put on a special card that works just like a debit card and is accepted at all of the local grocery store chains. ONT is now a SNAP Outreach Partner so you can process your SNAP applications and recertifications right in our Amesbury office! Our Food Resource Advocate Tress Ricker is new to our team but has many years of experience to help you navigate the often confusing process. To schedule a time with Tress for help with SNAP, please call 978-388-1907 x18 or pop into the intake office during Market hours. Read more about SNAP and ONT's partnership here.
News & Events
Check out the complete list of events, hours and holiday programming!
Thank you to our 2019 Great Neighbors!
The summer is bittersweet. We get to drink up the sun and warmth of one of the best times of year in coastal New England. At the same time, we are reminded that time has passed quickly and another year will soon be history.
Here at ONT, Summer 2019 marks the half-way point for 2020 Strategic Plan: A Path to Food Security, which charts our course to raise awareness of food insecurity in our region, build ONT’s partnerships and capacity to address need, and, most importantly, to ensure that the communities of Amesbury, Newburyport, Salisbury and Merrimac can become food-secure. These are ambitious goals and it sometimes feels daunting to think we could achieve them in just 18 more months. However, now seems like the perfect time to recap how far we’ve come in the last year-and-a-half to motivate us to the finish line.
Creating a Food-Secure Region is a marathon, not a sprint. Some miles will be tough, while others are a smooth, flat coast (our Run Out Hunger team members will agree down-hill can be just as hard as up). But, through partnerships and solidarity with our neighbors, we are getting closer and closer to our goal.
Fill 'Em Up Fest Returns for a 3rd Year!
Join us at Newburyport's Cashman Park for our popular annual food truck festival! Presented by the Institution for Savings, Fill 'Em Up Fest is a family-friendly event featuring delicious food from the area's best food trucks, local beer, live music from Alex Anthony and games for the kids.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children 12 and under are free!
Can we fill 'em up? You can help feed 30 neighbors for a whole year! Your ticket purchase supports the 1 in 16 people living in our region who don't know where their next meal is coming from, including 1 in 5 seniors and 1 in 8 children. Every dollar donated provides 1 meal to a neighbor.
Last year's favorites Empanada Dada, Phoenix Rising, Clyde's Cupcakes and Chick & Dogs are joined by Big Rig BBQ , Metzy's and Sacred Cod. Hope to see you on September 7!
Volunteer Spotlight- Lisa Flynn
Lisa Flynn wasted no time diving into volunteering after she retired, and it didn’t take her long to become a regular volunteer with Our Neighbors’ Table! She came to volunteer orientation after a few weeks of retirement at the recommendation of Beth and Alan Ayres (amazing ONT volunteers themselves!). Lisa immediately felt the power and warmth of the ONT community.
“It feeds the soul,” Lisa will tell you, “The people- volunteers, guests, staff—good people doing good things.” Very quickly, Lisa was volunteering every week at the Wednesday Meal (she’s the “Salad and Soup Lady”) and in the ONT office as receptionist. Read more about Lisa in the month's Volunteer Spotlight.
News & Events
Thank you to our 2019 Great Neighbors!
These Great Neighbors are making a big impact on hunger. Join their ranks and become a Great Neighbor today!