Our Neighbors’ Table (ONT) has been named Community Partner of the Year by The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). ONT was formally recognized at the GBFB Partner Appreciation Day on October 28th. This recognition comes as ONT kicks off the celebration of its 25th anniversary and settles into the new Jardis-Taylor Center, which opened in May 2016.
Hunger affects 1 out of every 16 people living in northeastern Essex County. Even more staggering, 1 out of every 5 of our seniors and 1 out of every 8 children are struggling through each day without enough food. Our Neighbors’ Table provides hunger relief to nearly 600 households every week through our local, mobile and home-delivery grocery programs and our Wednesday Meal.
Operating since 1992, ONT has increased the amount of food provided to the community by more than 100% since 2012, distributing 650,000 pounds of food (the equivalent of 500,000 meals) in 2015 alone. The hallmark of ONT’s programs is providing fresh produce, meat and dairy products that are most expensive or inaccessible to struggling residents. Fresh foods, sourced both from GBFB and local growers, made up more than half of all food distributed at ONT last year, including 100,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables grown within 15 miles of ONT.
“We could not possibly keep up with the growing need in our community without our partnership with The Greater Boston Food Bank. We bring approximately 15,000 pounds of food from GBFB to our warehouse every week,” shares Lyndsey Haight, ONT Executive Director. “We’ve made fresh food a priority here at ONT five years ago. We are proud and grateful to have GBFB and our local growers as partners toward this goal.”
“Our Neighbors’ Table is an exemplary partner in our mission to end hunger here across Eastern Massachusetts,” noted Catherine D’Amato, GBFB’s President and CEO. “They are always willing and ready to step up to the challenges in their area and they do this through leadership and innovation.”
ONT is in good company as other 2016 GBFB award recipients include Walmart, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Gold Medal Bakery, Liberty Mutual, Senator Benjamin Downing, Representative Marjorie Decker, RSA Media, and Davio’s owner Steve DiFilippo.
ONT’s grocery programs serve residents of Amesbury, Boxford, Byfield, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, West Newbury, Rowley and South Hampton (NH). Their Wednesday Meal is open to all.