Rebecca Mitrani Marmor
RACHEL’S TABLE LAUNCHES GROWING GARDENS INITIATIVE TO HELP PIONEER VALLEY ORGANIZATIONS GROW FOOD FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES
Growing Gardens Initiative Kicks Off with Rachel’s Table Teen Board Donation of 640 Starter Plants to Seven Local Agencies
SPRINGFIELD, MA April 21, 2021 – Rachel’s Table, a program of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts that helps alleviate hunger and reduce waste of food resources in the Pioneer Valley, is kicking off its Growing Gardens initiative. An expansion of the organization’s 14-year Gleaning program, the goal of Rachel’s Table Growing Garden is to provide the Pioneer Valley with direct access to healthy food. As part of the Growing Gardens initiative, the Teen Board of Rachel’s Table is donating 640 starter plants from Garden’s Dream in Enfield, CT to 7 local agencies serving the food insecure.
“In addition to meeting the need, at Rachel’s Table we are also interested in making a change in the story of who has access to healthy food,” said Jodi Falk, director of Rachel’s Table. “One of the ways we are doing it is by shortening the line, such as supporting programs that provide direct access to healthy food, teaching people to grow their own food, and facilitating spaces where people can self-determine the type of food they want.”
This spring, the Rachel’s Table Teen Board starter plant donation is aimed at those participating organizations that have shovel-ready gardens. Agencies receiving starter plants from the Rachel’s Table Teen Board include: Highland House, Friends of the Homeless, Robinson Gardens, Christina’s House on Union St., and the Springfield Food Policy Council.
Starting this summer, Rachel’s Table Growing Gardens will support several of its 53 agencies that would like to grow their own gardens on site. Rachel’s Table will help these organizations build gardens to grow culturally appropriate food desired by the constituents of each agency. Rachel’s Table will also provide materials such as kits to create raised beds, especially for agencies who may have constituents in wheelchairs, and gardening mentoring is also available.
For more information about Rachel’s Table Growing Gardens initiative or if you would like to volunteer in its Gleaning program visit www.rachelstablepv.org.
About Rachel’s Table
Rachel’s Table is a program of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts. Founded in 1992, Rachel’s Table has worked tirelessly to alleviate hunger and reduce the waste of food resources in the Pioneer Valley. Six days a week more than 200 volunteers collect food from over 60 donors such as local supermarkets, restaurants, caterers, farms, and bakeries, and deliver it to more than 50 agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters in the Pioneer Valley. Rachel’s Table is also a catalyst for community activism through programs that raise awareness about food justice. Over the years, it has created special projects focusing on healthy nutrition and education such as the Gleaning Project among others, which works with youth and school groups to engage them in the service of collecting the excess produce and donating it to agencies that serve the hungry and homeless in the Pioneer Valley. For more information on how to volunteer or donate visit www.rachelstablepv.org.
About Rachel’s Table Teen Board
The Rachel’s Table Teen Board is made up of 50 members whose goal is to support the organization in alleviating hunger and reducing waste of food resources in Western Massachusetts. Partially sponsored by a grant from The Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Rachel’s Table Teen Board focuses on alleviating childhood hunger and educating their peers about local hunger and poverty issues, and then involving them in being part of the solution. For more information on the teen board and the work they do, visit @rachelstableteens on Instagram or email the teen board director, Rebecca Mitrani Marmor, at email@example.com.