SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Rachel’s Table is getting a little extra support from the state this year. Senator Eric Lesser announced $25,000 of additional funding for the local non-profit was written into this year’s state budget.
“You are there out there supporting all the members of our community. And this is the Commonwealth of Mass. coming back saying here is money from the taxpayers to continue that mission of bringing vital food out to our neighbors who need it the most.” Senator Lesser
The Commonwealth says that Senator Lesser acted as lead budget sponsor in the Senate in securing this earmark in the FY22 budget. The FY22 budget was passed by the Senate and House and signed into law by Governor Baker in July. This funding will help fund the purchase of a larger vehicle for the organization that their volunteers use to support food deliveries.
“Rachel’s Table truly is rooted in community,” said Senator Lesser. “They went from delivering 13,000 lbs of food in October 2019 to 70,000 lbs in October 2020. It was community partners like Rachel’s Table that answered the call to feed neighbors and friends of ours that were in a lot of trouble during the pandemic. They base their mission on the Jewish and universal value that no person should be hungry and that no food should go to waste by working with partners to collect and distribute unused food to those who need it. They have a great presence and team rooted in Western Mass and I’m proud to support their efforts.”
“This wonderful and critical support of our work from State Senator Lesser’s office will go a long way to help us feed people in our region,” stated Jodi Falk, Director of Rachel’s Table. “Even before the pandemic, Massachusetts ranked number one in the highest increase in food insecurity in our country. We all need to step up to change this. It is with partnerships between non-profits, government, and private sectors that we can do this. We thank Senator Lesser for all of his tireless work to make a positive impact on the people of Springfield.”
“We are proud of the work Rachel’s Table is doing to address hunger in the Pioneer Valley and how the program staff and volunteers transformed and increased its food distribution methods to meet the current demand caused by COVID-19,” said Nora Gorenstein, Interim Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts. “The funding secured by Senator Lesser will allow our Rachel’s Table program to more sustainably fight hunger in our region in furtherance of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts’ mission to support those in need.”
Rachel’s Table looks to combat hunger and reduce food waste throughout western Massachusetts. They expanded its daily program into Hampshire County which include, three additional food donors in Hadley, Amherst and Northampton, and two agencies in Amherst and Northampton.