Who Supports Us
Open Table relies on the support of hundreds of volunteers, generous individual donors, funding organizations and community partners. We deeply appreciate everyone’s belief in our mission. Thank you!
Individuals, Families, and Community Groups
Some of our most important supporters are people like YOU! Individual donors who make donations, families who drop off a bag of groceries in honor of a child’s birthday, scout troops who pack kids’ bags, or the neighborhood that sponsors a fall food drive. There are so many of these generous and thoughful people in our community who support Open Table on a small, but ultimately significant level.
Sustaining and Contributing Partners
Many thanks to the many organizations that have made a significant investment in our work, enabling us to meet the growing number of guests who turn to us for assistance.
Open Table relies on many different funding sources.
Acton Boxborough United Way
The Acton Boxborough United Way works to improve lives in Acton and Boxborough by mobilizing the caring power of community. The ABUW provides generous grants to Open Table to help provide fresh produce for our guests.
Concord Carlisle Community Chest
The Concord Carlisle Community Chest meets the evolving needs of local citizens and gives responsibly to a broad range of human service and other organizations that strengthen the Concord and Carlisle Massachusetts communities. The CCCC provides generous grants to Open Table.
Crawford Idema Family Foundation
Crawford Idema Family Foundation supports philanthropic causes through grants for curriculum development, and operating and other continuing programs. Crawford Idema Family Foundation provides generous support of Open Table.
First Parish in Concord
First Parish in Concord invites everyone into their Unitarian faith community, without regard to race, gender, age, color, national origin, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. First Parish provides space for Open Table in Concord, funding, and many volunteers.
Foundation for MetroWest
Foundation for MetroWest connects philanthropic opportunity with demonstrated need in the Boston Metrowest area. They provide funding and services for guests of Open Table.
Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank has a mission to end hunger in eastern Massachusetts with the objective of distributing enough food to provide at least one meal a day to those in need. GBFB provides Open Table with 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of food every week.
Maynard Community Chest
Maynard Community Chest is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that works to strengthen the community by supporting local charitable agencies that provide a broad range of essential human services to people who live of work in Maynard, Massachusetts.
Middlesex Savings Bank Charitable Foundation
Middlesex Savings Bank Charitable Foundation carries out the philanthropic mission of Middlesex Savings Bank, assisting non-profit organizations that provide critical community services throughout Eastern and Central Massachusetts.
Project Bread is dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts.
Trinitarian Congregational Church
Trinitarian Congregational Church Concord is deeply engaged in social action, mission and outreach. TriCon provides regular donations of food and groceries to Open Table.
- Barrett Mill Farms
- Concord Academy
- Concord Flower Shop
- Concord Masons
- Concord Public Schools
- Concord-Carlisle Regional High School
- Concord Recreation Department
- Congregation Kerem Shalom
- Crosby’s Marketplace
- The Discovery Museums
- Donelan’s Supermarket, Acton
- Drumlin Farm
- Emerson Hospital
- The Fenn School
- First Parish in Lincoln
- First Parish of Sudbury
- Gaining Ground
- Holy Family Parish
- The Keel Foundation
- Lincoln Public Schools
- Metrowest Free Medical Program
- MetroWest Legal Services
- Middlesex School
- Minute Man Arc for Human Services
- Nashawtuc Architects
- The Nash Family Foundation
- Nashoba Brooks School
- National Charity League
- Newbury Court
- NuPath, Inc.
- The Osterman Family Foundation
- Roche Brothers Supermarket, Acton
- Ryan Family Charitable Foundation
- Stop & Shop, Acton
- St. Anne’s in the Fields, Lincoln
- St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sudbury
- TD Bank
- Trader Joe’s, Acton
- Trinity Episcopal Church
- Verrill Farm
- West Concord Union Church
Thank You for Your Recent Support
Our food rescue partner Lovin Spoonfuls really came through today with an 873 pound food donation. Particularly needed as we return from break was fresh milk and the added bonus of ice cream! We also got much needed fresh produce and bread which we were low on. Pictured are Food Rescue Coordinators Anthony & Christine. Picture taken by Joni Kuminsky Marketing & Communications Director
We are sending our heartfelt thanks to the Bromfield School in Harvard for the multiple service projects they have done recently. Early this month the Bromfield Cares after school club collected over 480 pounds of delicious snacks, which the packed into 320 Kids Bags decorated by the Hildreth Elementary all kindergarten class. Special thanks to Naomi Linde, Student Donation Coordinator, Isabelle Planchet, Open Table Volunteer, and Trish Nilan, Student Leader of Bromfield Cares.
8th Grade Teacher Andy Wright and his family dropped off 65+ Kids Bags weighing 81 pounds to Open Table yesterday. The students of this school have been prolific in their efforts over the last 4 weeks to keep our kids bag inventory stocked up!
And last weekend a team of their talented artists decorated our front windows with a super cute winding roadway to help us promote this year’s Ride for Food. Be sure to drive by (or bike!) and check it out. And if you are interested in the Ride for Food, which will be hybrid live & virtual (whatever works for you!) this year, we are looking for riders, supporters, and volunteers. More information is available HERE.
Yay Bromfield School!!!
The Essential Workers of Open Table – Showing up every day!
Next week (starting April 19th), Open Table will be closed. After a year of working full throttle, our staff is taking the week off for well-deserved rest and relaxation. Before they leave, I want to take this opportunity to highlight their incredible dedication. Radical changes have happened almost weekly since the onset of the pandemic. Just when we thought we’d found a steady state, we would encounter another need to change in order to deliver food safely and respectfully. Through it all, our staff regrouped, strategized, and kept rising to the challenges. Here are a few of the major contributions each person brought to the “Table.”
Rob Slattery: Operations and Facilities Manager,8/19-present
- Coolest of cool under all forms of pressure, keeps the team laughing with Mr. and Ms. Salty’s photos.
- Makes sure we always have enough food, over 600,000 lbs., even during the national break in the food supply chain!
- Keeps the facility ready to go at all times, no matter the weather (18” of snow!).
- Moved Open Table into our new office space during the busiest time of year while decommissioning Everett Street pantry.
- Totally reconfigured the interior pantry space to support online ordering.
- Currently oversees the management of contractors for kitchen expansion.
- Oversaw drainage and outside improvements of the facility.
- Manages a crew of interns, volunteers, and staff to support all of the above while responding to most questions with “sure, we can do that.”
Stephanie Shenton: Kitchen Manager, 10/18-present
- Led the “Thursday Distribution Team” at the onset of the pandemic.
- Leads the kitchen in the production of over 500+ prepared meals a week.
- Contributes in a major way to the Mobile Meals Expansion team, strategizing to meet a goal of 1000 meals a week while utilizing an all-volunteer team of cooks.
- Has an amazing gift for keeping everyone’s morale boosted while juggling many, many plates in the air!
- Performs as a kitchen magician. No food is too challenging to figure out how to work it into a prepared meal (corn dog casserole anyone?).
Barbara Blankenship: Kitchen Manager, 2/19-10/20
- Converted the community dinner program by pivoting all volunteers and resources from preparing 100 weekly in-house meals to 500 prepared deliverables.
- Reconfigured OT volunteers into cooking pods and welcomed newly available commercial cooks waylaid by Covid to cook safely in our confined spaces.
- Received wholesale and institutional quantities of surplus food from local schools and restaurants (destined otherwise for the landfill) and turned it into beautiful, healthy meals for families in need.
Jeff Geraghty: Assistant Pantry Manager and Truck Driver, 7/18-present
- Moves small houses and heavy, cob-web covered furniture.
- Receives, transports, and delivers literally thousands of pounds of food multiple times every day!
- Drives to South Boston in all kinds of weather.
- Executes weekly the entire transportation, set-up, and tear down of our mobile pantries.
- Makes sure our facility is secured every night, which includes the back-shack, 2 vehicles, and 2 buildings (6 doors!).
- Admired by all who work with him: “love that guy, he’s got such a positive attitude.”
Scarlett Cheung: Commonwealth Service Corps Operations Assistant, 8/20-7/21
- Sourced and prepared the distribution of all foods for mobile programs.
- Created the concept of “Glad Bags” for the Thanksgiving drive to ensure all clients received amazing “extras” during the challenging holiday time.
- Instrumental in developing the “kits” for Healthy Helpings, medically tailored meals and groceries for seniors.
- Trained volunteers on Pick-and-Pack teams to prepare food for Mobile Programs and Fresh Air Programs.
- Scored an ongoing source of feminine products thru Dignity Matters and has achieved the managerial level of ServSafe.
- Has an incredible “Spidey sense” for knowing when we are about to run out of items and how to substitute seamlessly!
Jill Tsakiris: Acting ED, 3/20-5/20 & Program Manager, 8/20-present
- Was only 12 days on the job when a global pandemic was declared. Rallied the troops and built incredible teams to keep the organization going so that we never had to stop, even for one day, delivering food with the highest COVID safety measures in place. This resulted in no known COVID-19 cases during the time she led the organization.
- Reinvented Open Table’s operations – 3 different times!
- Created and launched Open Table’s online ordering system, including home deliveries.
- Trained mobile pantry teams and in-home grocery delivery teams
- Designed and implemented the Healthy Helpings program.
- Dedicated to the ideal of treating all people with respect.
- Never stops until a program is successfully running smoothly working tirelessly in all kinds of weather and with all kinds of equipment – making sure that Open Table is delivering the highest quality service to those in need.
Samantha Hohl: Program Manager, 7/19-7/20
- Successfully launched our first mobile pantry in partnership with the Hudson Health Department.
- Managed a radically changed distribution model and coordinated the transition of distribution in our pantry-choice market to packed-bag model.
- Demonstrated incredible kindness to our clients and our volunteers through her gentle, calm presence which was always appreciated in times of stress.
Nick Owens: Program Intern, 9/20-3/21
- Co-designed a home-grocery delivery model and implemented it with all volunteers
- Co-developed and implemented an online ordering system to bring back more “client preferences” when receiving food from Open Table.
- Leaves behind excellent customer service protocols and training materials.
- Nick is known to all for his positive and calm approach to challenging technical problems and the ability to explain to anyone how to execute them.
Terra Buck: Commonwealth Service Corps Program Assistant, 8/20-2/21
- Worked full-time at Open Table while pursuing a full-time graduate program in counseling.
- Helped launch the Concord-Carlisle mobile pantry; clients found Terra to be outgoing and committed to offering excellent service.
Christine Evans: Marketing & Development Manager, 12/18-Present
- Functions as the Wizard of Open Table, the woman behind the screen (or is it the curtain?) who has made all systems work together to support our communications, fundraising, and data needs—normally the job of 3 people. Christine does this as a part-time employee, volunteering the additional 40+ hours it sometimes takes to make Open Table function.
- Made sure EVERYONE was receiving excellent communication during the height of the pandemic so that we felt connected and productive in delivering our mission.
- Served as the backbone of this year’s unprecedented and successful fundraising as well as all years leading up to it!
- Provides the creative genius behind the visuals at Open Table – our logos, photos, images, layouts!
- Makes Open Table jewelry, hats, scarecrows, logos, signage, and (soon) bicycle riders!
Heather Hernandez: Volunteer and Business Manager, 3/19-12/20
- Kept OT flush with volunteers despite crazy times, coining the concept of “family pods” and making sure that the COVID safety protocols were in place for volunteers.
- Caused staff to say: “Never had to worry once that we wouldn’t have enough volunteers during the pandemic.”
- Coordinated the Advisory Team of long-time volunteers who could no longer volunteer in-person; helped to brainstorm ideas for the new operating model.
- Provided the creative genius for solving staffing challenges through volunteer talent.
- Used her social work experience to lead staff in the trauma training workshop.
- Known as the “Finder” whom everyone goes to when looking for something they need!
Gretchen Findlay: Volunteer Manager, 3/21-present
- Launching a new volunteer management program (CERVIS).
- Manages and endeavors to engage over 120 teenage volunteers.
- Keeps all shifts fully staffed.
- Tackles tough volunteer challenges with incredible positivity.
Aiko Pinkoski: Business Administrator, 12/20-present
- Put her former professional software experience to use leading our volunteer management and CRM selection processes.
- Finds ways to cut costs and make the administrative work of Open Table function as efficiently as possible.
- Troubleshoots all technical issues while systems are operating.
- Serves as co-captain of our 2021 Ride For Food team.
Eliza Coffin: Business Administrator, 7/20-1/21
- Organized and Managed two Food Security Task Forces
- Producer-in-Chief of our Town Hall and Annual Meeting
- Created and implemented the Holiday Gift Drive, resulting in over 600 bags of gifts to make the best possible holiday despite this year’s challenges.
- Designed the online registration form for home deliveries as well as client surveys, often translating materials in multiple languages.
- Organized Open Table’s files and trained staff and many volunteers on the use of GSuite.
- Handled over 500 deposits during the height of the annual appeal.
Stephanie Chrobak: Development/Program Administrator, 3/20-7/20
- Lent oversight for the Commonwealth Service Corps application and selection process, resulting in Open Table receiving 2 full-time service members for the year.
- Worked diligently with the staff to make sure we successfully had in place an ironclad program structure for our first and subsequent mobile pantry programs.
- Led the OT grant-writing committee to raise over $165,000 for the year, including the recent $108,000 State Food Infrastructure Grant.
Please join me in saluting these amazing staff members. Their contributions during this pandemic year will go down in history as the most dedicated and selfless team, certainly one that I feel privileged to work beside.
Executive Director, Open Table
Who are the people who made sure no one went hungry during this pandemic year? Some pretty amazing people.
As the leader of Open Table, I’m humbled by the incredible commitment of our volunteers to end hunger. Many of our longtime volunteers pivoted from in-person volunteering to joining the ranks of board members and administrative volunteers to work remotely.
Then there were those “in-person” volunteers who, despite risking contracting the virus – came anyway. Transporting, sorting, packing, distributing cooking food, and cleaning up! On the eve of their eligibility for receiving the vaccine – we salute all of our unsung heroes!
We couldn’t have distributed over 600,000 lbs of food without you! Here are the unsung heroes of the pandemic year (view on website).
Executive Director, Open Table
ps. Be sure to follow us on social media as we showcase many of these heroes in the coming weeks.
This morning we received 170 spring flowers complements of Harriet and David Kaufman’s stimulus check and the Concord Flower Shop‘s generous discount. These are to be given out to our pantry clients to spread a little cheer for spring. Thank you to Helen and David Halloran for your support today and for the years of flowers you provided for Open Table’s Community dinner in Concord. We salute the community of caring supporters for bringing a little spring to the Table!
We are thrilled to have our first Healthy Helpings meals going out for delivery (in our new van from our State Food Infrastructure Grant!) this afternoon to over 30 families! Here is our crew from yesterday: Amy Simon, Laurie Foster, Kate Simon and Happy Goethert, preparing salmon with rice and sweet potatoes, and glazed chicken with potatoes and green beans. Thank you to CHNA 15 for the grant to make our Healthy Helpings program a reality! Thank you to our partners, the Acton Council on Aging/Senior Center, the Carlisle Council on Aging, and the Concord Council on Aging for coordinating distribution!
Open Table is now more mobile! Part of the funding we recently received from the Massachusetts State Food Infrastructure Grant was directed for purchase of a new delivery van. Volunteers will use the van to deliver meals and groceries to our partner organizations (COAs, housing authorities, and more in several towns in our service area) for more direct and efficient distribution to families and individuals. Thanks to the wonderful Acton Ford Sales Team of Gordan Chan and David Bingham for helping us select the best van for our needs. We are so excited to be able to deliver More Love, Less Hunger!
We are so happy to have an on-going partnership with Holy Family & St. Irene Parished in Concord – including the 6th grade religious education class that is led by Scott Staniar and Jaye Russo. Recently, Open Table Board Member Michele Fisher “popped in” to the class’ virtual gathering to discuss the issue of food insecurity. Michele is a staff member at the Greater Boston Food Bank, congregant of Holy Family and OT Development Chair. And apparently, the class took the discussion to heart – collecting and donating 617 pounds of food to Open Table! That food will really help bring More Love, Less Hunger to our neighbors in need. Thank you!
We again thank the members of the Kerem Shalom community for their generous support of Open Table. This past weekend the congregation held a Food drive and Purim CAR-nival, a delightful way to celebrate the Jewish holiday, which traditionally includes exchanges of food gifts and donations to charity – what a perfect fit for a food drive! Those who came to the drive-thru event were treated to a carnival-style experience and Purim pastries. A total of 668 pounds of food were donated, with many items specifically for our clients with allergies, food sensitivities, or who are vegan or vegetarian. Many thanks to Nancy Kaplan and Susan Brager Murphy who organized the drive and are pictured making the final food deliveries today.
Open Table is grateful to the trustees of the Sudbury Foundation for a recent gift from the Herbert and Esther Atkinson Fund of the Foundation for MetroWest to purchase food and other items needed to best serve those in need during the continuing pandemic. Although restrictions are beginning to ease and businesses are reopening to greater capacity, many are still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic. The unemployment rate for the 23 towns Open Table serves was still at 6.2% in December 2020, over 3 times what it was in December of 2019 (2.0%). The extended crisis means savings are running low, and many are experiencing food insecurity for the first time. This gift will help provide groceries and meals for these area residents, and in doing so, we hope will honor the Atkinson’s legacy of giving for public good.
Open Table is thrilled to have been included in the Greater Lowell Community Foundation’s latest round of COVID related grants from the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. The funding focused on local nonprofits addressing barriers to food imposed by lack of mobility and transportation. The grant to Open Table will appropriately fund our Mobile Meals and Grocery Programs, and in particular our new Mobile Meals Coordinator, as we expand our meals program from 500 prepared meals/week to hundreds more. Thank you, GLCF – we look forward to working together to end hunger in our community.
See the GLCF announcement of the grants HERE.
Given the food crisis for so many people right now, Winstanley Enterprises has been supporting food pantries and related charities in the markets in which they operated. With their corporate headquarters located in Concord, Winstanley chose Open Table as one of the organizations to support, giving us a very generous gift. The funds will help get food to families in Concord and the other 22 towns we service. Thank you, Winstanley, for making such a positive contribution to the community.
Maybe you’ve seen the new volunteer hut, placed your first online order at Open Table, or noticed that our ordering pages are available in Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian. Did you know that all of these changes are due in part to a generous grant from the Foundation for MetroWest (FMW) through their recent 2020 COVID Relief Grant Program. The grant supported winterization of the drive-thru pantry, creation of the online ordering system, and translation of related materials for our linguistically diverse client base. Families now have more choice in what foods they receive, getting them the right type and amount of food, and thereby lessening waste. We greatly appreciate the continued support of the Foundation for MetroWest; together we can bring the MetroWest region more love, less hunger.
We love when our supporters pamper our clients! And that’s what Amanda Proia and her friends and colleagues did recently. Amanda, who is a Pampered Chef consultant, organized a Meal Kit Food Drive for Open Table. The result is 32 meal kits that include recipes and all of the ingredients to create two meals. Families will enjoy two night of not having to decide what to cook – and isn’t that the hardest part sometimes? We look forward to working with Amanda on future creative meal projects.
The Acton-Boxborough United Way recently announced $175,500 in Community Impact Grants to 17 area nonprofits supporting the health, education and financial stability of the Acton and Boxborough communities. Open Table is honored to have been awarded one of these grants. The funds will be used to help purchase fresh food to be included in grocery bags and prepared meals available through our Food Programs. In the past year, well over 100 families from Acton or Boxborough have received groceries at our pantry, and we serve 55 prepared meals each week to seniors in our partnership with the Acton COA. Open Table is honored to continue our long-term partnership with ABUW, working together to help those in need in Acton, Boxborough, and beyond. Thank you.