The mission of Rachel’s Table is to alleviate hunger and to reduce waste of our food resources in Western Massachusetts.
- Collaboration – We partner at every scale – individual, organizational, communal – to best serve and leverage collective resources.
- Dignity – We deliver with dignity in what and how we serve.
- Intergenerational Leadership – We listen to the lived experiences of elders as well as raise up the imagination, innovation, and insights of young people in our visioning and decision-making processes.
- Intercultural Community – We work across diverse cultural, religious, and spiritual traditions in order to co-create representative and inclusive solutions to food insecurity.
- Personal Agency – We believe everyone should have a voice and a choice in what they eat and feed their families.
- Reciprocity – We weave a relational, multi-directional web of giving and receiving that honors the unique gifts of all volunteers, constituents, partners, and staff.
- Tikkun Olam – We are guided by the Jewish principle of tikkun olam (Hebrew for “repair of the world”). We work to knit shards of the world’s soul back together through pursuing food and nourishment for all.
We work towards a holistic approach to food security, together.
In 1992, Rachel’s Table was created by members of the Women’s Philanthropy Division of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts to address food insecurity in the Springfield/Longmeadow area. Since then, Rachel’s Table has grown to serve Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Counties, at times extending into Berkshire County and Hartford County (in CT).
Six days per week, more than 200 volunteers collect food from local supermarkets, restaurants, caterers and bakeries, and deliver to more than 60 local organizations including food pantries, community meal programs, after school centers, shelters, and more.
Rachel’s Table volunteers come from varied backgrounds, religions and cultures, and range from children to people in their nineties. We work in partnership with other food rescue and redistribution organizations to extend our reach and leverage the effectiveness of our collective resources.
RT serves a unique role in the local food system by flexibly adapting and responding to gaps in the food supply chain, mobilizing volunteers when unexpected donations become available, and serving as a bridge between suppliers and recipient agencies. We keep food that would otherwise end up in the landfill from slipping through the cracks.
Who We Serve
Rachel’s Table partners with 65+ agencies that serve food-insecure community members from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences. Women and children, elders, veterans, people with disabilities, unhoused people, immigrants, and refugees (currently primarily Ukrainian & Afghani) comprise a majority of those served. The clientele of each agency varies dramatically depending on the locale and the populations within the community or service area. We primarily serve Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Counties, and at times extend into Berkshire County and Hartford County (in CT).