Making a Difference
Food Rescue Program
Rachel’s Table was founded in 1989 as a food rescue program in Worcester, Massachusetts. Each week, an average of 9,431 pounds of good excess food in the community is transported to 30 area homeless shelters, neighborhood pantries, group homes, day programs, and soup kitchens by a core of 75 volunteers working over 400 hours each month. Food is donated by a variety of markets, restaurants, senior centers, corporations, farm stands, schools, caterers, bakeries, and private individuals in the Greater Worcester area. Since 1989, over fourteen and a half million pounds of food and milk have been provided by Rachel’s Table. Most of this food would be thrown away if not donated. It is provided free of charge to the agencies. Rachel’s Table is responsible for an average of 33% of the donated food received by the agencies that we help and is the second largest source of food in the area.
Children's Milk Program
Rachel's Table launched the "Children's Milk Fund Program" in 1992 to address the urgent need for fresh milk and infant formula in agencies serving children. Fresh milk remains highly requested, and without Rachel's Table's support, agencies struggle to provide it. The program supplies a minimum of 664 gallons of milk weekly to 20 social service agencies, serving as the only consistent source of donated milk in the area. The milk is used within agencies or given to families. More funds enable Rachel's Table to purchase and provide additional milk. Funding for purchased milk comes from grants, community contributions, and individual donations. The milk is distributed through a partnership with a local dairy. In 2022, the program reached around 20,000 individual children, but with increasing economic challenges, more children require assistance, with many families relying on food pantries solely for access to milk.
Rachel's Table recognizes the importance of addressing food insecurity among children during the summer months when school meals are unavailable due to school closures. Whenever funding permits, the organization proactively purchases fruits and vegetables to support the summer meal program for children in Worcester. By collaborating with the Friendly House Neighborhood Center, Rachel's Table ensures that nutritious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks are provided free of charge to children in need. This effort aims to mitigate the impact of food insecurity and promote the well-being of the community's children during the summer season.