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Mission & History

TABLE’s mission is to provide healthy, emergency food aid every week to preschool, elementary, middle and high school children living in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and neighboring Orange County communities.

It started with a cookie…

In 2006, Joy MacVane began leaving homemade cookies on the sidewalk of her downtown Chapel Hill home for UNC-CH students walking to campus. A year later, she began leaving notes by the goodies inviting students to stop by her house to bake desserts for the nearby soup kitchen. A dozen students showed up to make and deliver cakes. They discussed how much they enjoyed serving at the homeless shelter, expressed interest in local community service and identified hungry kids as a special priority. MacVane shared that concern and learned that there were no weekly food assistance services specifically for children at that time in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. In late 2007, she and several of those original students incorporated Table Ministries, Inc., now known as TABLE.

Since 2008, TABLE has offered “a place at the TABLE” to increasing numbers of local hungry children. Thanks to generous donations of food, funds and time by our community supporters, TABLE has quickly grown.

  • 2008/09: Delivered first bags of healthy food to 12 local elementary school children.
  • 2010/11: Incorporated fresh food into each bag and introduced nutrition education lessons.
  • 2012/13: Started delivering food to children during the summer through Summer TABLE.
  • 2013/14: Grew Weekend Meal Backpack program to 226 children weekly delivering over 3 tons of food each month.
  • 2014/15: Expanded programming to include kids in preschool, elementary, and middle school.
  • 2017/18: Moved operations to a larger space to accommodate program expansion.
  • 2018/19: Fed over 700 children each week and provided nutrition education lessons to 325 children every month.
“Childhood hunger right here where we live, work,  and go to school? Unacceptable! That’s what a group of UNC students and community people decided in 2008. Hungry to help, we named our organization TABLE to represent a place where caring hearts and hungry bellies could come together in ways that would transform us all.” 
~ Joy MacVane, TABLE Founder