By: Megan Roche
The team at Table of Hope truly embodies the last part of their name; hope. After Hurricane Irene, the Morristown Bethel church was flooded. A generous donor replaced their kitchen, the new commercialized kitchen where the magic happens. Since the kitchen was a donation, the team wanted to bring their blessings to others. That’s when Table of Hope was born.
Table of Hope, a community soup kitchen and food pantry, is located at 59 Spring Street in Morristown. Established in 2013, Table of Hope serves dinner five nights a week to those who need it. Currently, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Table of Hope is providing take out meals only. However, they have also reached their clientele in a different way.
After a generous donation of a school bus, the team has made the necessary improvements and has now gone mobile. The bus has been visiting communities all across Morris County to bring fresh food to those in need, especially during the COVID-19 situation. Through April and May, Table of Hope has served 9,467 families, 444,384 pounds of food which equates to roughly 222.10 tons. On April 3, Table of Hope did their first mobile distribution in Parsippany and Dover.
According to the Executive Director of Spring Street CDC, Teresa Williams, the needs of the community continue to grow, as does the need for volunteers. During every mobile visit, more and more cars are coming to the local community drop off points.
“We could not do it without our volunteers. No matter where we go, we always have people in the community who come out to assist us. It’s a huge blessing, just the support of the community to help others. I think the volunteer aspect is giving people a sense of meaning in this time of craziness right now. We’ve all become a big family,” Williams said.
On July 29th, the mobile food pantry will be making a stop in Mount Olive. Beginning at 10:00 AM, cars can head to Turkey Brook Park for free food. There are no requirements, simply just pop your trunk and food will be placed inside. The team only asks for a name and the number of people in the household. No pre-screening is required for the food.
“We’ve been doing these distributions every week since April 3. There is no pre-screening or paperwork. The government is asking us to just get a name and the number of people living in the home. The federal government is waiving the requirement for signatures due to COVID. The process is literally drive up, get the food, and be on your way,” Williams shared.
The response to the drive-up service has been overwhelming to both the public and to the team at Table of Hope.
“We’ve gotten just simple emails from people who tell us that we’ve helped bring them hope, or a simple ‘thank you’ written on a piece of paper in the windshield of a car, it’s so positive, it actually makes me cry. Working with Table of Hope even gives me hope,” Williams said.
Other dates around Morris County are also scheduled, for other dates and times or more information, visit www.springstreetcdc.org/table-of-hope.