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Our Story

Mission

Fighting Hunger While Reducing Food Waste

volunteer with forklift full of food

The key to our operation is efficiency and effectiveness, enabling us to feed the greatest number of people with the freshest, most nutritious food. We “rescue” food from approximately 272 fresh food donor partners (supermarkets, food distributors, restaurants and commercial kitchens) and deliver it the same day free of charge to more than 250 community organizations, including food pantries, food banks, shelters, day care/after school programs, senior centers serving people who are food insecure throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic Counties.

Since its inception in 1999, Table to Table has rescued and delivered enough food for 288,000,000 meals and saved nearly 98,000 tons of potentially wasted food from landfills.

Through the Table to Table I-Rescue App—powered by Food Rescue Hero—distribution has expanded to include donations that serve smaller donors and recipient organizations. Independently funded through grants and donations.

Table to Table is proud of its Charity Navigator 4-Star rating for 13 consecutive years.

Charity Navigator Four-Star Rating

Overcoming Food Insecurity
One Meal at a Time

Table to Table is New Jersey’s first food rescue organization. Committed to feeding our hungry neighbors in northern NJ, Table to Table rescues and delivers healthy, fresh and perishable food from grocery stores, food distributors and restaurants, and in doing so, nourishes the community while helping our environment.

Table to Table Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging Commitment Statement

TABLE TO TABLE views diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a culture where everyone can thrive. Our community draws from a dynamic range of backgrounds to contribute to the pursuit of our mission, vision, and common goals.

The work of TABLE TO TABLE, and the well-being of all who are impacted by our mission, is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, age, ability, political views, and more.

Together, we strive to create and nurture an environment that values diversity, promotes an inclusive culture, and establishes a profound sense of belonging for each member of our community.

History

A History Steeped in Alleviating Hunger
in Northern New Jersey

A Small yet Mighty Beginning

Table to Table, New Jersey’s first food rescue program was founded in 1999 by Claire Insalata Poulos. Under the guidance of City Harvest in NYC and with the support of a small passionate group of volunteers (including Dick Visceglia, Nader Ashway, Tracy Nieporent, and Chuck Russo who remain on our Board today), the organization began with a single donated van, one driver and four food donors.

Within a few months, Table to Table had distributed enough food for over 5,000 meals and quickly developed into NJ’s first and only food rescue program.  In 2002 Ilene Isaacs joined Table to Table as Executive Director and during her two decades of dedicated service the organization thrived and established deep roots within the Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Hudson County communities.

Generous Partners Stepped Up

The key to our operation has always been efficiency and effectiveness, enabling us to feed the greatest number of people with the freshest, most nutritious food. The power of partnerships of fresh food donations from grocers like Whole Foods Market in Edgewater, community-based agencies that distribute food to the hungry such as Good Shepherd Mission and generous financial partners such as American Express allowed us to quickly evolve. Accomplished chefs and restaurateurs, committed to providing meals for those in need and avoiding food waste, also brought their expertise and generosity to the table.

Who Receives

All the food that Table to Table distributes goes to economically disadvantaged people who are living at or below the poverty level in Essex, Hudson, Bergen and Passaic counties in northern NJ. It is delivered to local nonprofits benefitting every age group, gender, ethnicity, and vulnerable population, with an emphasis on families, children and senior adults.

A Growing Force for Good

Each year Table to Table operations grew so that today we have a fleet of refrigerated trucks picking up fresh food from generous donors and delivering it to our community partners. To date, we have delivered enough food to provide for more than 288,000,000 meals and prevented 98,000 tons of food from ending up in landfills.

Feeding Families in Northern New Jersey

In response to the overwhelming need in Essex County, Table to Table expanded its footprint into Newark, leading to the annual distribution of millions of meals, along with the creation of our first Fresh Produce Market Network, a no-cost market for no/low-income residents in the Ironbound section of the city, a neighborhood recognized as a food desert. The success of the ICC Fresh Produce Market resulted in additional markets serving the growing number of people experiencing homelessness, seniors, women and children and other populations in need.

Because fresh produce markets were not enough to address the growing needs of the community, Table to Table established a network of centralized distribution hubs (Newark, Bayonne, Jersey City and Paterson) administered by either schools or local community organizations. This is accomplished without charging fees of any sort and maintaining an internal cost to our organization of 10 cents per meal. raise all our own operating costs without government funding. And, in the true spirit of a community-based program, it is the unwavering support from all of our partners that maximizes our impact.