BY: Dan Fiore, Photographer

“Expect nothing, appreciate everything”.  My mom must have said that a thousand times to me growing up and that saying has stuck with me every single day of my life.

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend the day with Emily and the Table to Table team to photograph their work in action. Traveling with this team was an enlightening journey and what I observed that day was one of many moments that put mom’s quote in perspective.

I left the house that morning thinking what a great day it was going to be because of 3 things; first, I was going to spend the day with my favorite charity, Table to Table.  Second, I was going to photograph all day (which is one of my favorite things to do as a photographer).  And lastly, I was going to have a volunteer day off from work!

As we picked up and delivered fresh food throughout the day, we traveled to places like New Hope Baptist Church and the Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark. As we unloaded the truck and spent a little time getting to know folks, I was able to see kindness, caring, faith, compassion, hope, smiles and gratitude; as a photographer, one frame at a time.

While my camera caught some of the most moving images I have ever photographed, I also saw first-hand the importance and impact that Table to Table makes every single day for so many people in need of fresh food.  From witnessing excitement and the sign of relief on the faces of those watching the truck come down the street, to seeing so many on what appeared to be an endless line (in sweltering heat) to receive this fresh food.  It’s their only chance for access to this type of food and it’s food worth waiting for.

I will never forget the day I spent with Table to Table and I’ll never forget what Mom said.  Like many of us, wise words come to light on occasions like these.


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