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.