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Our new van!

This fall, Rachel’s Table held a ribbon-cutting for its new refrigerated van, a game-changing acquisition made possible by Senator Eric Lesser and Representative Brian Ashe, among others. Senator Adam Gomez helped secure funding for FY23 to help support the van’s usage and keep Rachel’s Table’s distributions going strong to Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties.

The ribbon-cutting occurred at MGM’s loading dock on November 15, to coincide with the announcement of a Rachel’s Table food rescue partnership with MGM! Through this new partnership, surplus good food from MGM will be picked up by the new Rachel’s Table van for deliveries to agencies in the Springfield area who serve the food insecure. Following the ribbon cutting, the van made its first official food pick up of approximately 3,500 pounds of MGM food that was loaded into the van by many legislators, RT volunteers, and MGM employees. The van had to make two trips to seven agencies that day since the payload for the van is just around 2,800 pounds of food.

The van is a game changer because RT can now deliver 3x as much food per food donor than before. In the past, RT was able to pick up to 500 pounds of food from C&S on any given Thursday. Now, RT can pick up 1,500 or more pounds a week. Thanks to the refrigeration capability of the van, we are now able to deliver almost a ton of meat and produce each Monday from Westfield Big Y’s and further enhance our partnership with the Food Bank. Our volunteers will still use freezer blankets and infrared thermometers to ensure food safety, but the quantity of nonperishables we can now deliver is greater and the capacity to travel longer distances while keeping food safe, especially dairy, is incomparable.

If you would like to help support our van initiative, please consider becoming a sponsor of Rachel’s Table. For one of our van routes each week, we deliver 2,000 pounds of over $10,000 worth of meat to 6 agencies feeding the food insecure, with $30 worth of gas. That means for $30, you can help provide 1,600 protein meals! Please help us provide healthy protein through our new van to our neighbors!

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