Rachel’s Table Partners With The Food Bank of Western MA for Good
Food banks and food pantries provide millions of pounds of food to communities; however, they cannot solve food insecurity on their own. Rachel’s Table (RT) has provided, over nearly 30 years, over 8 million pounds of food to our local community, and now, in partnership with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts (FBWM), that number will grow. Together, we are making a difference.
Rachel’s Table and the Food Bank have joined forces to fight hunger. Rachel’s Table, with its 200 volunteer drivers, will transport the food directly from designated grocery stores to the FBWM agencies, filling the gap where agencies lacked transportation or when its volunteers were needed elsewhere.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to help deliver food to agencies, especially for those who need our transportation,” said Jodi Falk, Director of Rachel’s Table. “Transporting healthy food to people instead of it going into landfill is what we have been doing for almost 30 years and being able to use our operations to better serve our neighbors in the Pioneer Valley is a win for everyone. It is the epitome of partnership to fill gaps and support each other’s good work.”
Rachel’s Table partnership with The Food Bank began pre-pandemic in Westfield, MA, and has become revitalized during the past several months. Together, RT and The Food Bank are serving 7 agencies, with 13 RT volunteer drivers that rescue nutritious food from 8 donors in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties. Starting slowly but deliberately, over 15,000 lbs. of healthy meat, produce and dairy have been delivered since the program began, and there is more to come.
“Our teams (RT and FBWM) met together, and it made sense to match our agencies’ needs with RT’s operations,” said Shirley DelRio, Director of Food Operations at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Currently using volunteer cars, the RT- Food Bank Partnership drivers are ServSafe-trained and use freezer blankets and infrared thermometers to ensure food deliveries remain safe. RT thanks the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts for a $7,000 grant in 2019 that helped purchase 100 blankets and thermometers for this task.