Empowering young people to take an active role in fighting hunger.

Other Donations

Distributing food is our primary function, but Rachel’s Table helps the community in other ways as well.

You can make a monetary donation in honor of a loved one, bring in unused toiletries, or give us your extra Big Y gold coins and turkey coins. Every donation makes someone’s life a little bit easier.

Donating Food

Maybe you've ordered too much food for your catered event, or your child is organizing a food drive as a community service project, or you simply want to help your hungry neighbors by purchasing a few extra cans of food at the supermarket.

Give Rachel's Table a call! We will make sure that your food gets to the people who need it most.

Our Programs

Over the years, many generous people have created special projects to help feed the hungry. Find out specific ways you can help, or start a program of your own!

The Gleaning Project: Helping Harvest

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, Rachel’s Table brings young volunteers into the fields where they can harvest surplus produce from local farms and bring it directly to our agencies.

In addition to feeding the hungry, the Gleaning Project educates the community about hunger, food security, and agriculture.

Big Y Foodraiser

Are you a savvy shopper? Put your skills to the test at our annual Big Y Foodraiser! Prizes are awarded to the most efficient shoppers, and of course all the purchased food goes straight to our agencies.

Bountiful Bowls

Every two years, Rachel’s Table hosts a gala event to raise the funds we need to help as many people as we can. Our next Bountiful Bowls will take place in the spring of 2013. Be sure to join us for an elegant, fun, and vitally important evening.

Agencies

Rachel’s Table distributes food to more than forty food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens in Western Massachusetts. Learn more about our partner agencies and the wonderful work they do.

Food Donors

Our success depends upon the many restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets that donate their extra food. Find out who our donors are, and be sure to thank them next time you patronize them!

Contact Us

Contact us to volunteer, donate food, or get involved! 

We welcome your comments, questions, and ideas.

Upcoming Events

Information about our upcoming events and projects.

Rachel's Table

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Gleaning: Helping Harvest

Gleaning, which dates back to Biblical times, is the gathering of produce after harvest. Farmers are often unable to sell all of their produce, either because of imperfections or because they simply cannot harvest it all. The Gleaning Project works with youth and school groups to engage them in the service of collecting the excess produce and donating it to shelters and food pantries in the Greater Springfield area.

Rachel’s Table received grants from the B’nai Tzedek Youth Foundation and the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation to cover the cost of transportation and administration. Thanks to these grants, the Gleaning Project has harvested and donated over 20,000 pounds of produce over the past 4 years! The project has enabled more than 200 volunteers to experience both the joy of gleaning itself, and the satisfaction of donating the produce to over 15 agencies in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Amherst. Many farmers welcome the opportunity to donate excess produce that would otherwise have been thrown out; others donate salable produce simply out of kindness.

  • In 2012, we gleaned and donated approximately 10,300 lbs of produce to  10 different agencies in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, Amherst, and Greenfield.
  • We worked with 250 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, including 14 different youth, school, and church groups. Many of our volunteers had their first opportunity to harvest fresh produce, learn about where their food comes from, and visit food service agencies in their communities.
  • We harvested from 7 farms and we cannot thank the farmers enough for their generosity. 

As one of the adult chaperones noted, gleaning is a great way to do Tikkun Olam – to help heal the world.

For more information, please contact Jessica Harwood at jnanharwood@gmail.com.

Youth and School Groups

  • Beit Ahavah - Northampton
  • Girl Scouts - Springfield and Belchertown
  • Jewish Center of Amherst
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School - Springfield
  • Unitarian Universalist Youth Group - Northampton
  • JCC Camp
  • University of Massachusetts
  • All Saint’s Church in South Hadley
  • Four Rivers Charter School
  • Lander-Grinspoon Academy
  • Heritage Academy
  • Deerfield Academy
  • Community Members

Types of Produce Gleaned

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Winter Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Celeriac
  • Beets

Participating Farms

  • Brookfield Farm - Amherst, MA
  • Harvest Farm - Whately, MA
  • Atlas Farm - Deerfield, MA
  • Bashista Orchards - Southampton, MA
  • Small Ones Orchard - Amherst, MA
  • Mountain Orchard - Granville, MA
  • Easy Pickins - Enfield, CT
  • Town Farm- Northampton, MA

Recipient Agencies

  • Northampton Survival Center - Northampton, MA
  • Kate's Kitchen - Holyoke, MA
  • Salvation Army - Springfield, MA
  • Springfield Rescue Mission - Springfield, MA
  • Loaves and Fishes - Springfield, MA
  • Gray House - Springfield, MA
  • Worthington St. - Springfield, MA
  • Not Bread Alone - Amherst, MA
  • COA Granby, COA South Hadley, MA
  • Gondara House, Springfield, MA
  • Center for Self Reliance – Greenfield, MA
  • Amherst Survival Center, Amherst, MA
“When are we coming again?” asked a first grader from Martin Luther King Jr Charter School in Springfield as the bus pulled away from the orchard where they had picked.