Sharing Table at Community Action will offer food, household supplies
ALBION – A new program bringing food to community members is gaining popularity in towns across the nation.
Anna Cruz, who moved to Albion from Long Island, learned about the Sharing Table from an online university, Western Governors’ University. She said a woman in Seaford began one last March.
Its concept is that a table is made available to the public, laden with canned food, produce, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, linens or toiletries.
People are invited to take what they want and leave what they can, even if it’s nothing. There are no requirements or income guidelines for those who frequent the Sharing Table.
Cruz shared the idea with staff at Community Action in Albion, and they liked the idea.
“This is a whole new initiative,” said Annette Finch, director of emergency services at Community Action.
The table will be available at Community Action’s Main Street Store every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Our goal at Community Action is to make people self-sufficient,” said Renee Hungerford, director of Community Action. “Our hope is if someone needs help, in time they can give back.”
Cruz said they plan to start a Sharing Table Club, which will meet once a month. Members will get a meal basket, which will have different themes, for example, an activity basket with popcorn and a movie.
Similar tables are cropping up across the United States, said Cruz, a clinical coordinator for Western Governors University. She saw a shoe table advertised on Facebook.
“I thought a Sharing Table would be great to do here,” Cruz said. “I saw the table out front and called Michelle to ask if we could use that.”
Michelle George is manager of the Main Street Store. The table Cruz refers to is a fruit/vegetable stand outside the Main Street Store, which is loaded with all kinds of items, much of it surplus from the Orleans Correctional Facility. They never know what they’re going to have on the stand, Finch said. One time a tractor trailer pulled up with an abundance of salad mix. It was gone in six hours. Another time it was half a truck load of limes.
Hungerford said no one needs to feel guilty about taking anything from the Sharing Table. If they can leave $2, that would be fine, or perhaps they would like to give back by volunteering two hours in the Main Street Store.