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New Year, New Perspectives  

Every new beginning means we can take a new, fresh look at who we are, what we do, and how we make a positive impact in our world. Given global crises and instability, some of which hits home for many of us, our outlook has been and continues to be to gather in community, do our service work, and create lasting change for the better locally. Our work, ranging from immediate assistance to longer-term sustainable solutions, is our pathway to bridge across faiths, beliefs, and communities in support of a better tomorrow.  

Six months into our new non-profit entity, we have surpassed our expectations in terms of the amount of food delivered and communities engaged. At the end of this month, we will share all of our data with you. Some highlights include – nearly 700,000 pounds of food delivered, double the amount of expected produce gleaned, and several new gardens created along with seniors in wheelchairs, youth, and families. And on May 19, please join us in Forest Park for our much-anticipated Outrun Hunger, the 5k race and 1-mile fun walk! Registration coming!

Rachel’s Table of Western Massachusetts is lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers of all ages. This edition of our Quarterly newsletter is dedicated to our youth volunteers and participants – whether as a member or officer of our Teen Board, a leader of local food drives, a Deerfield Academy gleaner, a child from Christina’s House creating a cookbook centering on the food they planted and harvested, a teen packing backpacks with food for other youth for the weekend, or as a student from Amherst Regional High School gleaning and learning about culture as part of their Anti-Semitism Awareness Project. Please join me in their words, photos, and aspirations in making a better world. They give me hope, and I hope they will for you as well.  

Through every glean, each pound of food delivered, every garden nurtured, we are collectively planting seeds of loving kindness. Our actions reach beyond different faiths and beliefs, building a strong bond of compassion and unity among communities. As we forge ahead, into 2024, we are reminded of the powerful impact we can make when united by a common goal. Together, we can sustain food security and food justice in our region. As we build programs that reach into the future and support sustainable food systems as well as caring communities, we invite you to continue to support us. You can support us and future youth by your donation now or in your estate planning.  

One of the things I used to say to my students when I taught in high school and college was – “leave a legacy every day.” We each, no matter what age, have the opportunity and the responsibility to leave a positive legacy. Join us in doing that for our youth, our community, and our world. 

To a day when we are all at the table, well-fed and nourished, 

Jodi Falk

Have you seen the short film about our work yet?

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