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Press Release: State Infrastructure Grant

Open Table Receives $108,492 Massachusetts Food Infrastructure Grant

Funds will expand Mobile Meals Program so that more meals are delivered to food-insecure families

Concord and Maynard, MA (February 22, 2021) – Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced today that it has received a Massachusetts Food Infrastructure Grant for $108,492. The Funds will be used to expand Open Table’s Mobile Meals Program, which provides healthy meals to food insecure families in the Metrowest area.

Prepared by talented volunteers in Open Table’s industrial kitchen in Maynard, the prepared meals are available for pick-up at the Maynard drive-through pantry or delivered through Open Table’s mobile food program partners. These churches, schools and housing authorities provide central, familiar locations for food pick-up or help in delivering food to homes. This service reduces the stigma often attached to food injustice.

The Massachusetts Food Infrastructure Grant will allow Open Table to double the production of its healthy, prepared meals distributed through the Mobile Meals Program. The grant will be used to purchase new kitchen equipment needed for this expansion, more freezers and refrigerators to store the meals, more packing and labeling equipment for the meals, more shelving, and a new cargo van to distribute meals to mobile programs and directly to homes, and to bring food from grocers and farms to Open Table.

“Hunger in our community has increased. By using the state grant to expand our Mobile Meals Program, Open Table will be able to remove some of the barriers to accessing healthy meals,” said Jeanine Calabria, executive director, Open Table, Inc. “Our planned infrastructure investments allow us to not only produce more meals but transport food to vulnerable communities. In addition to increasing the number of families served with our existing Mobile Food Program partners, we will add new community partnerships in targeted areas.”

The Massachusetts Food Infrastructure Grant Program was created in May 2020 as part of the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The program’s goal is to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have access to food, with a special focus on food that is produced locally and equitable access to food. The program also seeks to ensure that farmers, fisherman and other local food producers are better connected to a strong, resilient food system to help mitigate future food supply and distribution disruption.

A volunteer from the Concord Rotarians helps prepare Mobile Meals in Open Table’s Maynard kitchen, which is being upgraded with new equipment funded through a Massachusetts Food Infrastructure grant.