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Reflect, Respond, Re-imagine 

First, a happy new year to each and every one of you! You each make a difference to us – and together, we make a difference in our world! 

Transitioning from one calendar year to the next always makes one reflect. This past September, we began celebrating Rachel’s Table’s 30th anniversary and will continue to celebrate in June when we’ll be bringing back our Bountiful Bowls fundraiser. We’ve kept our mission of reducing food waste and alleviating hunger strong. How we’ve done that has grown, and in the past year, by leaps and bounds. Our new refrigerated van has already helped us deliver double the amount of food per month than we did previously, and we will soon be tripling the amount! We also began the year with a new initiative, Growing Gardens, after listening to the people we serve and who are most affected by food insecurity. And now a new $300,000 USDA grant distributed over three years will allow us to further expand key initiatives such as Growing Gardens, and Bea’s Harvest, our gleaning initiative. 

This past year, we were also proud to continue to step up in times of crisis. For instance, we worked with Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts to deliver much-needed food cards to refugees awaiting to receive government services. We also stepped in for agencies in Franklin County that needed extra food. We helped coordinate a community-wide food drive that included City Hall and local businesses like Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Franklin County YMCA, and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce! We also purchased much-needed meat thanks to Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Gagne Wealth Management, and Greenfield Savings Bank

On November 18, the Springfield JCC suffered a fire, and our Federation office, as well as all JCC programs, had to go elsewhere. Thankfully, Rachel’s Table staff and volunteers continued to work without a hitch and purchased fresh fruit and snacks for the Early Learning Center and the youth at Educare Springfield – to thank Educare for stepping up and helping out! 

We have now been fighting hunger for thirty years in Western Massachusetts and we will continue to meet the need, daily and in urgent times, to bring more food – and more nourishment to our community throughout Western Massachusetts. Our mission remains the same, as we shift our emphasis to make sure we are responding to the current needs and creating sustainable and equitable options for all. 

Join us as we grow to meet the need, and here’s to a day when we are all at the table,

Jodi Falk

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