Southern New England News Southern New England News

Jewish Federation of Western Mass will make Rachel’s Table a separate nonprofit

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts announced recently that Rachel’s Table, its signature food rescue program, this summer will become a stand-alone non-profit organization.

“The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts is proud of Rachel’s Table’s achievements and is excited to see Rachel’s Table come into its own as a nonprofit organization,” said Nora Gorenstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts. “Over the past 30 years, we have proudly seen Rachel’s Table grow and evolve in ways we never imagined. Therefore, we felt this transition was the next natural step for Rachel’s Table.”

For Rachel’s Table, this new independence will allow it to have full fiscal, operational, and programmatic control to further expand its reach in Western Massachusetts. In Federation’s case, this decision will allow it to grow, nurture, and expand new programming such as Ride to Provide, a bike ride fundraiser; and Dignity Grows, which provides individuals in need with essential personal hygiene products so they can participate in community life without interruption.

“After several months of conversations and planning, we are eager and excited to officially start the transition to become a separate nonprofit,” said Jodi Falk, director of Rachel’s Table. “We are thankful for having a unique relationship for the past thirty years with Federation, which allowed Rachel’s Table to grow, evolve, and fully engage the community in Western Massachusetts.”

Rachel’s Table’s transition is already in full swing. Federation and Rachel’s Table have an action plan in place and have hired additional temporary support to ensure the successful transition of Rachel’s Table to a separate non-profit entity by this summer. During this period, Rachel’s Table will continue to work out of and receive full operational support from Federation. All daily operations for Rachel’s Table will continue without disruption, while others will grow, such as the delivery of a larger quantity of perishable items via the new refrigerated van.  

Since 1992, Rachel’s Table has been filling a large gap in hunger alleviation for a wide and diverse community in Western Massachusetts, including the local kosher food-insecure community. While food banks have been around since the 1960’s, the idea of rescuing food was a novel one, and one that Rachel’s Table’s founders thought was critically needed. Since then, Rachel’s Table’s mission, which is rooted deeply in Jewish values while serving with and for all, has remained strong with its daily recommitment to food justice and holistic vision of food security through its multigenerational group of volunteers. Rachel’s Table now serves three counties, and rescues and purchases a larger and healthier variety of food. It has also created community-engagement initiatives such as Bea’s Harvest to raise awareness and glean food, Growing Gardens to help agencies serving the food insecure grow their own food, and a refrigerated van to transport even more food throughout Western Massachusetts. Recently, Rachel’s Table received a three-year federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of over $300,000. This grant will support further growth of existing Rachel’s Table’s initiatives and help explore economic incentives for farmers and employment pathways for people impacted by food insecurity. 

JTConnect hosts Kickoff Celebration, Sept. 14
A year of firsts
Israel’s Ilana Odess honored in Connecticut

Leave Your Reply