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New Rachel’s Table Teen Leaders

Pictured from left to right: Mia Conca, Franza Mazimpaka, Emmalene Pirnie, and Teen Board Coordinator Sarah Bate

Each year, several young people from diverse backgrounds, religions and ethnicities from greater Springfield come together for an entire calendar year to fulfill their mission – educate themselves and others about food insecurity and childhood hunger in our region, and work very hard to make a difference. This year, Rachel’s Table Teen Board boasts over 50 members and 12-15 officers, including Sarah Bate, its new coordinator. Sarah hails from New Orleans and New Jersey and is looking forward to helping the teens of western Massachusetts make a difference in the local community.

Our Rachel’s Table Teen Board officers are true leaders. They make all decisions, lead their meetings, and create and execute an annual educational and action plan. This fall, the new teen board leaders want to collaborate with many other youth leaders on service, advocacy, and educational projects.

This year, the Teen Board will focus on service projects like making meals for Ronald McDonald House, food access advocacy projects in schools in collaboration with groups like Project Bread, large-scale community events like food drives with local high school teams, and fun and educational events such as game night and film night. This year’s large event is the biennial Hunger Awareness Arts Festival, which invites local young artists or school art classes to make art about issues surrounding hunger, such as health, wellness, and equity. This year, Arts Fest winners will showcase their art at the JCC gallery in Springfield! The art that young people have made in the past two Arts Festivals can be seen in our RT gallery.

The teens use their social media savviness to connect with other youth and the food insecurity cause. These young people have their hearts and minds set on not only serving but trying to help fight the root causes of hunger by educating themselves on systemic racism, social justice, and equity. Local speakers are often invited to the group, whether in person or virtually, to share their knowledge and experiences. All Teen Board events are open to all teens.

Last year, the youth focused on food justice and advocacy, and learned how legislation is made – and specifically learned about the process that helped Governor Baker sign the extension of School Meals for All for 2022-2023. The youth learned from speakers from @Project Bread and their Feed Kids Coalition.

This year, we look forward again to the Teen Board’s leadership. If you know of a teen who might be interested, please visit to learn more about getting involved!

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