At Table to Table, our commitment is to the health and safety of everyone in this community. As such, we are continually monitoring the scientific updates surrounding Coronavirus and are revising our policies and practices to ensure the health of everyone who is involved in our work. This page serves as a resource to learn more about how we’re responding to this pandemic.
Protective Gear: Our drivers are armed with sanitizers, gloves and masks. We applaud their efforts and thank them for prioritizing the needs of the people we serve.
Antimicrobial Film Applied to Touchpoints on all Trucks: Silver Defender, a surface technology company with patent-pending antimicrobial adhesive films that protect touch point surfaces, has donated and covered all the truck handles and steering wheels to ensure driver safety as food is delivered throughout the community. Learn more about this partnership https://tabletotable.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/NJBIZ_10.23.20.pdf
Limiting Exposure: As we reached the height of the pandemic, we strategically scaled back the number of stops that the drivers make. While our goal is always to pick-up whatever fresh food is available, during this period we must realistically assess the amount, location and type of food available to determine the safety and efficiency of our drivers making the stop. As of now, they are back to their regular schedules but will reinforce again if a surge takes place in our area of service.
FOOD DONATIONS & DISTRIBUTION
Table to Table delivers food to community partner organizations, not individual homes. Covid-19 has forced many of these organizations to close out of precaution for their staff, volunteers and clients. To address this we have quickly focused on modifying relationships, partnering with new and diverse organizations and altering logistics, sometimes on an hour by hour basis. As the need continues to escalate daily and we continue to source more food, it is important for us to be able to keep our trucks actively on the road 6 days a week.
The strength of our collaborations is essential for the rapid pivot needed to accommodate for closed agencies and the requirement to distribute food in compliance with social distancing and gathering policies. Along with the organizations that remain open, we are currently partnering with local governments and housing authorities, community Y’s and community advocates, all able to locate appropriate outdoor space, recruit volunteers and safely handle and distribute the pallets of fresh food we deliver.
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According to the FDA and USDA, March 17, 2019
Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook food to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.
Another good practice is to always wash your fruits and vegetables. The FDA suggests the following general tips for cleaning produce:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
- If damage or bruising occurs before eating or handling, cut away the damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
- Rinse produce BEFORE you peel it, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable.
- Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water. There’s no need to use soap or a produce wash.
- Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers.
- Dry produce with a paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
- Remove the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.
Remember to store perishable produce in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees, and also be sure to cook all food fully to their recommended temperature. Heat has the ability to kill unwanted pathogens.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Give a Gift: In rain or shine, our trucks remain on the road. Your gift will help us overcome the challenges we face each day, finding creative ways to ensure our neighbors receive the food we rescue each and every morning.
Stay Informed: Stay informed of any updates to our operations through our website and social media channels.
Share Our Message: We are currently working on an online fundraising campaign to compensate for the revenue lost from our recently postponed Chefs Gala. In the meantime, please share our current and future messaging on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to help drive donations that will fuel the increasing demand for fresh food.
Also, let your contacts know that Table to Table can pick up excess FRESH food, as events continue to get cancelled, and companies, schools and universities work remotely.
Take care of yourself. You are the reason we will provide 27 million meals to our neighbors in need this year. Working together, this extraordinary community has helped us feed single moms, seniors, veterans, young children and families struggling to make ends meet. We need you!