In 1999 Claire Insalata Poulos founded Table to Table: the first and only food rescue program in New Jersey. It was launched after her community-focused volunteer work at a food bank opened the eyes of this chef trained, marketing professional to a horrifying truth: tons of healthy, usable, fresh food was being thrown out and wasted every single day. With the help of New York City’s City Harvest, a handful of committed chef friends and a few volunteers, Table to Table started rescuing the excess fresh food from three local restaurants and a few grocery stores. The first two recipients of this free, wholesome food were two local soup kitchens. Today, its fleet of five refrigerated trucks serves over 80 hunger relief agencies throughout northern New Jersey.
Table to Table is now one of the most successful food rescue programs in the entire country serving as a model to other burgeoning hunger relief organizations. Claire’s business and marketing background guided her initiative while her love of sharing nutritious foods meant Table to Table would fulfill a personal vision. Table to Table is currently ranked by Charity Navigator as the number one 4-star non-profit in the entire state of New Jersey. Since its inception, Table to Table has delivered enough food for over 105 million meals. Remarkably, that original handful of committed volunteers and chefs still work together, helping to feed the community. They include Chefs Peter Kelly and Nicholas Gatti along with Tracy Nieporent, Dick Visceglia, Chuck Russo, Ralph Weeks, Jo Vent, Elyse Pressner and Eve Megerle. Food is rescued, hungry people eat: everyone is nourished.