With summer on the horizon, who doesn’t salivate at the thought of a juicy slice of watermelon, or that first, crunchy bite into an ear of fresh corn? Yet unfortunately, many of our neighbors have no such frame of reference. Some have never experienced the tastes and smells that for us are synonymous with warm weather and carefree days. And for others, the memory is so far in the past that it has faded.
Table to Table was founded with the belief that everyone, regardless of income level or living situation, deserves a fresh, nutritious meal at least once a day. To that end, since 1999 we have made sure that more and more of the people in need in our community receive food that not only satiates, but also contributes to overall good health. And over the last several years, in particular, promoting the joys and benefits of fresh produce has been a driving mission for our food rescue organization.
In the spring of 2014, with the support of the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, partnership with ICC’s Family Success Center and generous donations of exquisite fresh produce from HelloFresh, we began regularly sharing the bounty and benefit of fresh fruits and vegetables at a free, weekly mobile produce market in Newark’s Ironbound. Now in our 4th year, the number of families we serve at the market from April through November continues to increase exponentially. To ensure that the produce being distributed, especially if unfamiliar, finds a place at each family’s table, Inserra Supermarkets provides nutritionists who educate participants on the nutritional benefits of the items they receive, offering tastes, cooking suggestions and recipes.
The success of this pilot market has led to the opening of another location this season. In partnership with Bessie Green Community and with the support of the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, the Washington Park section of Newark has something new to add to the rich culture and beautiful churches that define the area – a free market where different varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods are made available to the most vulnerable area residents.
With our markets in full swing, we celebrate another sign of spring, one essential to our world of food rescue – our annual Dinners of Distinction. Our Chefs Gala on May 9th and Gala d’Italia on May 23rd are delicious and enjoyable ways to ensure that our neighbors have access to the same vitamin rich and nutrient dense foods that we all need to live healthy lives. The success of these events enables us to maintain and grow our service and markets throughout the communities we serve.
Spring has arrived and summer is in the air. Join us in making sure that everyone has the opportunity to share in the bounty of these long-awaited seasons. Visit www.tabletotable.org to learn more.