The Table at St. George’s recently received a $15,000 Power of Change grant from the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) to fund purchases of fresh food to be distributed through The Table in the World (TITW), an initiative of the church’s longstanding food ministry to the city of Fredericksburg and surrounding counties.
In March, COVID-19 concerns shuttered the church’s well-established market-style food pantry known as The Table at St. George’s. In response, the ministry’s leaders quickly decided to shift food distribution from a weekly indoor gathering where clients chose from a selection of fresh foods and nonperishables to a low-contact system. The Table fostered healthy eating by making fresh fruits and vegetables available throughout the year in an atmosphere that welcomed all in need. Continuing to serve in this capacity was imperative to the church’s mission to serve its neighbors. Building on the TITW initiative begun in 2017, the leadership implemented a plan to have fresh food delivered by two local farmers and a wholesale supplier directly to sites around the community. Each site stepped up to organize safe distributions to their constituents.
“In this time of national and local disruption, the ministry leaders of The Table faithfully opened their hearts to find creative ways to respond to the rising levels of food insecurity,” said Rev. Areeta Bridgemohan, St. George’s Associate Rector. “They chose to turn challenge into opportunity. While we feel sad about the loss of the community that gathered every week around food, we have gained friends through the new partnerships that have been established and we are reaching into the community on a larger scale. This generous Power of Change grant will support our expanded outreach.”
Over the past 10 months, TITW’s food distribution has grown significantly, as has the number of those challenged by food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic. Weekly deliveries totaling approximately 4,000 pounds now include much-needed fruits, vegetables, eggs, and cheese to eight sites that serve seniors; low-income families; people with mental health, substance use and developmental disorders; and a nonprofit focused on assisting the Latinx community. An additional site receives monthly deliveries. The Power of Change grant provides funding for nearly five weeks of deliveries.
The Power of Change receives its funding from REC members who volunteer to have their electric bill rounded-up to the next highest whole dollar. If Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) provides your power, we ask that you consider supporting The Power of Change to help others in need. Once enrolled, the extra change from your electric bill will be dedicated to charitable causes. Members can sign up by visiting REC’s website (http://www.thepowerofchange.org) or by calling 800.552.3904 for more information. The average member contribution is approximately $6.00 per year and is tax deductible. An annual statement of your charitable contribution will be mailed to you.
For more information, visit The Table at St. George’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thetableatstg.