Girl with Table Bag
2022-23

Annual Report

Produce at TABLE

TABLE’s mission is to deliver healthy food and nutrition education to children ages 0–20 living in Orange County, North Carolina. We envision a community where all children have equitable access to nutritious food and knowledge in order to experience optimal health, well-being, and dignity. 

Ashton Tippins

Note from our Executive Director

Year of Growth

Dear TABLE Friends & Supporters,

2022–23 was a year of growth. Due to the end of pandemic-era benefits in early 2023, we had a huge rush of families streaming in asking for food. TABLE is, unfortunately, experiencing our longest waitlist ever. While we budgeted for feeding 850 children in 2022–23, we temporarily served over 900 kids, and at the end of our fiscal year in August, we had over 160 children waiting for food support. This was challenging for staff tearfully turning away many new families, but certainly hardest for families unable to access much-needed food.

While we served the most children ever – over 850 kids fed weekly – we also grew our staff, Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), and food access programs. We joyfully completed our $3,250,000 Room to Grow capital campaign — our staff celebrated with paper cups, juice boxes, and Harris Teeter champagne, squeezed together in our tight current space in mismatched chairs.

Read More

Despite the heartache we see and experience some days, there is so much to be thankful for. One mom shared that getting food for her family gives her a “glimmer of hope.” Another commented, “Since we started with TABLE, I can make my children healthy after-school snacks now! My autistic son came home and said, ‘I love homemade snacks; they make me feel safe and comfy.’”

Isn’t that how we all want to feel? Safe and comfy when we know our next meal is coming. That’s what TABLE is about — alleviating food insecurity risks so local kids can live healthy, full lives. I hope you’ll read on and learn how our community at TABLE is working toward that goal.

Gratefully, 

Ashton's Signature
Executive Director

Meet Gracie’s Family

“Our children’s health is flourishing…”

My family has benefited from TABLE’s delicious and nutritious bags for four years. We were receiving food stamps when we found ourselves making barely over the maximum amount for a family of five and no longer qualified to receive benefits. We desperately needed other food assistance, and TABLE came to our rescue.

We have tried lots of new fruits and veggies, foods we wouldn’t have tried otherwise, and my family is eating healthier because of TABLE. I love looking up new recipes and have even started pickling and making sauces. TABLE’s monthly recipes are extremely useful and relevant to what is in our bag. They truly make it easy to cook healthy meals!

TABLE’s impact spreads wide among families in Orange County, and our children’s health is flourishing for it! TABLE is creating a community one food bag at a time. Thank you to all involved at TABLE — you make a heap of difference in a multitude of lives!

430+ Households • 850+ Children • 190 Volunteers Per Week

Food Access and Nutrition Education

Our Programs

41,668

bags of food distributed during 2022-2023

916 kids

served at our peak through TABLE@Home and Marketplace

573,000+

pounds of nonperishable
and fresh food
distributed to local kids

Volunteer at Table
Volunteer at Table

Food Access

We deliver healthy nonperishables and fresh produce directly to the doorsteps of children across Orange County, 430+ households per week! We began serving 12 elementary school children in 2008 and have grown to 850+ children, ages 0–20. Kids and families are at the heart of all we do! While 24% of our county’s residents are people of color, disproportionately over 85% of our participants are children of color, and 45% of our participating children speak a language other than English at home. No child should ever have to wonder if they are going to eat!

TABLE@Home

The food we provide includes locally grown produce, a nutritionist-approved menu, and accommodations for allergies and dietary needs. We incorporate items kids love and can prepare themselves like apples, snacks, and oatmeal packets; and items that fit their family’s cultural preferences, such as rice and beans or adapting to Halal/Kosher diets.

When it comes to fresh food, we want to give our kids the best. We partner with farms to keep dollars local, support farmers of color, and provide high-quality food to our kids.

TABLE Marketplace

Marketplace initially launched as a pilot in Summer 2021. It is an innovative, free, fully customizable grocery delivery service designed to give families agency, create opportunities for kids to try new foods, and increase dignity surrounding food assistance. Parents/guardians select the types of foods their families prefer (including culturally preferred items like masa or couscous) and the quantities they need to feed their families. In the first two years, data showed that children whose families participated in Marketplace had even greater health outcomes than TABLE@Home! As a result, we’ve officially made Marketplace permanent, are scaling up, and are determining how to add more customization into TABLE@Home, similar to what we offer in Marketplace.

Nutrition Education

Through our pilot Chefs@Home, we incorporate family-based nutrition education into TABLE@Home. These nutrition kits include recipes, ingredients, and activities so kids and parents can get excited together in the kitchen.

In 2022–23, we spent the year learning with Masters of Public Health (MPH) students from the UNC Gillings School of Public Health to improve the program, and we’re excited to implement their recommendations in 2023–24.

Kids and Families

Our Impact

91%

of parents agree their kids have improved access to nutritious food

82%

of parents agree food from TABLE represents their cultural preferences and they are encouraged to purchase healthier food because
of TABLE

$3,250,000

Raised from 435 donors to achieve our goal for TABLE’s Capital Campaign to purchase
and renovate our
new building, debt-free

2022-2023 Highlights

Our staff shifted from an hours-based to a results-focused workstyle to focus on accomplishing strategic goals rather than being at work for specific hours so we can achieve more significant outcomes and impact as an organization.

Each year, TABLE executes a survey with families in addition to surveys and focus groups with other stakeholders, including key partners, farmers, volunteers, staff, board members, and donors. Staff consolidates these results, giving priority to feedback from families. Themes and trends are incorporated into the following year’s strategic plan review.

This year’s family survey had a 35% response rate (154 out of 444 families). Here are some of this year’s strategic benchmarks and how we measured up. We also intend to look at racial disparities and understand differing results across programs in future years. 

$2,208,904 Raised for Annual Fund

Our fiscal year ran from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023. Of the $2,208,904 raised for our annual fund — 78% of every dollar raised went directly toward programs, and over 50% of every dollar raised went directly toward food.

Room to Grow Capital Campaign

We are thrilled to have completed our capital campaign, raising $3,250,000! The campaign, supported by 435 donors, raised enough money to complete the debt-free purchase and renovation of the new building. Our goal is to initially serve 1,000 children out of our new space (with room to grow to 3,000 in the future!). As of our 2022–23 year-end, we await permit approval to start renovations. We look forward to the day when we can open the doors of our new home to our staff, volunteers, donors, community partners, and most of all, to the children and their families who need our services the most.

Meet Emily’s Family

“The relief I felt was immediate…”

Emily moved here with her three children and it was very challenging to make ends meet. She did not qualify for food assistance, yet she didn’t earn enough to provide her family healthy meals, and learned that TABLE helps people in her position.

“The relief I felt was immediate, knowing that not only would my children have food staples (that they actually eat), but fresh produce as well. We rely heavily on our weekly bags.” When TABLE invited parents to participate in the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), Emily was excited about the opportunity to give back.

Families and Volunteers

Our People

“I’m impressed with the
effort that’s made to
personalize deliveries and
take into account allergies
or special diets.”

TABLE volunteer

Volunteers

It would be impossible to feed 850+ kids each week without our volunteers. They are integral to the mission by helping to grow the food, deliver it to TABLE, sort and pack bags of food, deliver bags and nutrition education kits to children’s homes, and clean and organize the office. Each week, we see on average 190 volunteers at TABLE, including shift leaders and interns, not even including community groups and farm volunteers! We are grateful for all they do! In addition, there are 12 TABLE families involved beyond receiving food (served on the Parent Advisory Committee, volunteered, or on staff). Our goal is to grow this number each year.

Family Engagement

TABLE seeks to work with families instead of for families in all that we do. By having families as our partners we can impact children’s health and well-being.

This year we hosted several family events including – a Back To School event where gently used shoes from Fleet Feet and 60+ backpacks with supplies were provided to kids while parents were given free blood presssure screenings; the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) planned a Spring Picnic at Belle Vie Farm where families cooked and provided delicious food; we hosted an online workshop in Spanish for parents to learn about children’s nutritional needs; and we met with parents one-on-one to learn about impact, needs, and growth opportunities.

Parent Advisory Committee

We expanded our Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), which is composed of participating children’s parents and guardians. The goal is to have parents inform and guide our programs.

As our waitlist grew, the PAC came up with criteria to help prioritize families who were most in need to receive food first. The PAC served as a focus group for nutrition education planning. They also planned the Spring Picnic at Belle Vie Farm!

Community and Organizations

Partnerships

30%

of our purchased
fresh food was
bought from
local farmers.

Volunteer at Table

“Seeing how our food
has benefited the children
and members of TABLE’s
program has been
so meaningful.

Tanya Gabor
Gabor Farms

Volunteer at Table

“It was great to not only
pack the bags for the families
but also learn about the issues
so many of them face every day
that go unnoticed.”

Amarie Gainer
UNC graduate linebacker

Local Farms and Farmers

Providing fresh produce is one of TABLE’s key pillars because fruits and vegetables are critical to the body’s health and development. TABLE developed partnerships with local farms that allow us to serve organic produce and provide farmers with a sustainable business. We are grateful for growing these relationships:

  • Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina
  • Mt. Carmel Baptist Church community garden
  • Wildflower Lane Farm
  • UUMC’s Giving Garden
  • Sankofa Farm
  • Gabor Farms
  • Elysian Fields Farm
  • Farmer Foodshare
  • Layton’s Produce

Thinking Outside the Box

We temporarily supported some waitlisted families through a partnership with Farmer Foodshare. Together we were able to provide CSA boxes of locally sourced produce and proteins – supporting both local farmers and our kids during the summer.

Community Sustainers

To grow TABLE’s partnerships, we launched TABLE’s Community Sustainers program. This corporate giving program includes multiple levels of partnership and recognition for local businesses allowing them to become more involved with the organization and community either through financial and food support and/or group volunteering. We welcomed several new members this year including School of Rock Chapel Hill and the Cardinal Track Club.

According to David Joseph, School of Rock Chapel Hill, “We feed our students’ minds and spirits with music, so it was natural to partner with TABLE which feeds young people’s bodies with nutritious food, and minds with knowledge about nutritious food options!”

Empty Bowls

Our annual fundraiser, Empty Bowls, returned in-person after two years of drive-thru! 100% of proceeds from Empty Bowls always goes directly to providing healthy, fresh food to TABLE kids. 

Empty Bowls is a true community effort. We loved the live music, soup, and pottery provided by local artisans, but most of all, the sense of community we shared in person at the Carrboro Town Commons. We look forward to hosting again in the fall.

Heels4Life

We enjoyed an exciting year with some fabulous UNC athletes working through our partnership with Heels4Life. Players enthusiastically showed up to help fill nearly 400 bags of food, delivered food to our kids’ homes, and participated in our family Spring event. Heels4Life and the players were also instrumental in helping TABLE reach our capital campaign goal by supporting TABLE’s Spring fundraising event. We look forward to growing this partnership in the future!

“You all have raspberries? Those are my daughter’s favorite food!”

Meet Kemisa

“I was inspired to give back…”

I am a first-generation college graduate, Sudanese American, and I wanted to give back to my community. I understand what it’s like to not have my basic needs met because I grew up in a family of 10 and we struggled to obtain nutritional resources. My parents relied on the food bank and non-governmental food resources. When I was young I didn’t understand where all of the good food was coming from but I was always excited when they came home with bags of food. 

I started volunteering with TABLE in 2021 and instantly felt connected. I started with the bagging shift and then decided to become a Team Leader. In 2023 I took on a new role as an intern and now I can work more on the volunteer experience. I was inspired to give back to the community because of my positive experiences with nonprofits, food banks, and food drives as a child. 

It is rewarding to now be someone who can provide others the same services my family and I once received in my youth. Being a part of TABLE has made a huge impact on my life. And, the work I do makes an impact on the lives of every family and child that receives TABLE’s services. I am privileged to do such important work.

2023-24: move into our new space • Serve more kids

Volunteer at Table
Volunteer at Table

2023–2024

Looking ahead

TABLE has big dreams for 2023–24! The needs that TABLE focuses on have grown in our community over the past 12 months and TABLE is subsequently growing to address those needs. Some of our program goals in our 2023–26 strategic plan include:

  • Move into our new, renovated space and serve kids from our waitlist!
  • Expand Chefs@Home to be available to all our participating kids, as well as add an in-person cooking class and video lessons. We’ll provide robust nutrition education to ALL participating children for the first time ever!
  • Increase the percentage of kids (currently 32%) who consume 3-4+ servings of fruits/ vegetables daily, ultimately improving their health.
  • Provide more customization options in TABLE@Home so the food we deliver is what kids and families most want and need.
  • Grow our Parent Advisory Committee and increase beneficiary decision-making power.

2022–2023 leadership

Volunteer at Table

“We see how committed
our volunteers are to TABLE’s
mission, and many of them
feel more like fellow staff
than volunteers!

TABLE staff

Board of Directors

  • Steve Buttitta, Chair
  • Jessica Villagrana, Vice Chair
  • Robbie Dircks, Treasurer
  • Ranee Montgomery, Secretary
  • James Lackland
  • Roslyn Moffitt
  • Courtney Thomas
  • William Spransy
  • Anne Beaven
  • Colleen Minton
  • Mark Moshier
  • Kelli Smith

Staff

  • Ashton C. Tippins, Executive Director
  • Laura Dille, Operations Director
  • Carrie Moses, Family Engagement Director
  • Abi Warmack, Volunteer & Nutrition Director
  • Jennifer Adams, Interim Program Director
  • Suzanne Tormollen, Community Relations Director, PT
  • Harmony Chavis, Development Director
  • Marie Nesnow, Senior Administrative Specialist, PT
  • Judit Alvarado, Spanish Family Engagement Coordinator, PT
  • ALaa Hammouda, Arabic Family Engagement Coordinator, PT
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