What is Rachel's Table?
Rachel's Table, a recipient of the National Presidential Point of Light Award, the Congressional Victory Against Hunger Award, and a Project Bread Agency Award, is a food rescue program for the hungry of Worcester.
Rachel's Table is a volunteer-based group that transports unserved and unsold prepared and perishable foods that otherwise would be wasted.
This "excess" food is distributed to 33 shelters, soup kitchens and neighborhood pantries that serve our needy neighbors.
Rachel's Table picks up food donations generated by restaurants, markets, bakeries, hotels, hospitals, caterers, and other food institutions. Presently, over 70 volunteers of Rachel's Table are united in a desire to help feed hungry people, and at the same time prevent waste of valuable and nourishing food. Rachel's Table volunteers transport food in their own vehicles.
Rachel's Table volunteers will pick up good, unused, nutritious food from businesses and food institutions in Greater Worcester and deliver it to agencies that have feeding programs for hungry people. No money is charged for the food.
We are one of the many programs of the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts.
What is the Children's Milk Fund?
In June 1992, a needs survey revealed desperate requests for fresh milk and infant formula in agencies servicing children. In response, Rachel's Table initiated its "Children's Milk Fund Program."
Fresh milk continues to be one of the most highly requested food items for needy children. Without Rachel's Table assistance, agencies do not have the means to provide milk for the children.
The Children's Milk Fund provides at least 724 gallons of milk every week to children at 21 social service agencies. Milk is not regularly donated to Rachel's Table and the Worcester Country Food Bank. The Children's Milk Fund is the only regular source of donated milk in the area, and is the only program of its kind.The milk is used within the agency or given to the child's family to use at home. The more money we raise, the more milk we buy!
Coupled with on-going food donations, fresh milk provides these hungry children with a nutritious and balanced diet. The purchased milk is funded by grants as well as by community and individual donations. Through the use of a local dairy, the milk is distributed to hungry individuals who receive it in a way that promotes dignity and respect.
In 2016, the Children's Milk Fund provided milk for more than 15,000 individual children (these children received milk throughout the year). With current economic conditions, more children need our help. Many families go to food pantries just to get milk.
Other programs supported by Rachel's Table
Rachel's Table purchases fruits and vegetables used by the summer meal program for Worcester's children. During summer months when schools are closed, school meals are unavailable and children suffer. Rachel's Table works with Friendly House Neighborhood Center to provide healthy, free breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Last summer over 100,000 meals were served at sites throughout the city, and also provided $15,000 worth of produce for those meals.
Rachel's Table purchases $3000 worth of special, individually wrapped food items for the Homeless Outreach Advocasy Program ("HOAP"), to provide to their clients.