In our last issue, we celebrated Amesbury as a Food-Secure City. Through partnerships with schools, city services, social service partners, and hundreds of private citizens, ONT has helped raise awareness of food insecurity in Amesbury and has created and sustains a network of resources to provide food for all residents in need. Today, I am thrilled to report that ONT is well on its way to mobilizing neighboring communities to do the same. Over the last eight months, ONT has convened the Food Security Advisory Group and its Assessment Working Group to develop a plan to better understand where and why food insecurity persists in our region. We launched this assessment in July and will issue a first round of findings later this Fall.
While we work with our partners to gain this knowledge, we are simultaneously piloting new programs and projects, building new partnerships and using our experience, lessons from national leaders to strengthen the existing network of food resources across our region.
The thought of declaring our entire region as food-secure is both incredible and entirely possible. Our experience in the City of Amesbury, and in just the short time of engaging community members in Newburyport has demonstrated that one of our region’s greatest strengths is the motivation of its citizens to mobilize and take care of one another. ONT experienced that eagerness first-hand in 2016 when we raised $1.1 million to open the Jardis-Taylor Center, and again this June. With 10 days left in our Spring Appeal, we put out a call to community members to meet a $10,000 challenge match. Well, the community answered and raised the bar – raising $21,000! ONT secured it’s $10,000 matching gift and finished the Spring Appeal well over its goal, having raised $113,000! To everyone who made a donation, helped spread the word, or volunteered in our programs putting those dollars to work, I thank you. I thank you on behalf of the thousands of guests, particularly the 900 children who have come to know that their community will be here to keep their bodies nourished and nurtured.
I am personally excited at the potential we hold to ensure every one of our neighbors never has to worry about going hungry. And I hope – I know – you are too. I look forward to sharing our ongoing progress with you and invite you to get involved – volunteer in our programs; take a tour of our groundbreaking market; join us at Fill ‘Em Up Fest September 8, and at our Annual Breakfast in October; and become a sustaining donor. You’d be amazed at what we can accomplish with just $25 a month.
Here’s to a Path to Food Security!
ONT Launches Regional Assessment to Understand Barriers to Food
Over the last 8 months, the Food Security Advisory Group (FSAG) has convened and declared food insecurity an important issue in our region. More importantly, the members of the group have agreed that time and resources need to be dedicated to understanding and addressing hunger and food security for all residents. Working through its Regional Assessment Working Group, member agencies and municipalities have launched the first phase of our regional food security assessment. Surveys are being administered at Anna Jaques Hospital, Children’s Health Care, local Councils on Aging and online to start to understand where and why local residents experience barriers to getting enough food and getting enough nutritious food.
Join ONT's Run Out Hunger Team!
We need your help to Run Out Hunger! Runners (or non-runners!) of all abilities are invited to support ONT and get a VIP experience for the Newburyport Half Marathon on October 21. Each runner commits to raising a minimum of $500 to support Our Neighbors' Table, which will provide more than 500 meals to the community. Personalized online giving pages are available to easily collect donations from your family, friends, and co-workers.
Never run a half marathon before? No problem - we have you covered! Studio Five in Rowley is offering coaching to support your training to get you across the finish line.
2018 Great Neighbors
Thank you to these Great Neighbors for making a big impact on hunger. Join their ranks and become a Great Neighbor today!