The mission of Family Table is to end hunger in the Greater Boston Jewish community while serving people who need our assistance regardless of religious affiliation.
Family Table fulfills its mission by providing kosher food, creating a caring Jewish connection, and empowering people to make healthy eating a part of their daily lives.
We do this by offering:
- Nutritious groceries, including fresh produce and whole grain products
- Jewish holiday and ritual items, including challah and Shabbat candles
- Personal hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste, and shampoo
- Healthy recipes and recipe tastings using pantry foods
- Connections to programs that help families move from crisis to stability
Family Table serves more than 100 towns across Greater Boston, the North Shore, and the South Area. Currently, Family Table is helping more than 500 families each month with groceries and connections to other services.
“Of course, we feel lucky to be able to help in this small way every month! Thank you for running the program and making it possible for us to have our six-year-old participate so that this kind of volunteer work becomes a natural and expected part of life for him!"
- a Family Table volunteer
Family Table operates five distributions each month, including two on Sundays in Waltham and one Sunday each in Marblehead and Canton, along with another weekday distribution in Waltham. At our Sunday distributions, volunteers pack and deliver groceries to clients who are unable to drive or lack transportation. View our distribution schedule.
Our clients are individuals and families in need, including people with disabilities, older adults living on fixed incomes, Holocaust survivors, survivors of domestic abuse, and people who have experienced job loss or underemployment. For assistance, please call 781-693-5593.
For immediate assistance after regular business hours, call the Project Bread Food Source hotline at 1-800-645-8333.
SNAP (food stamps) is part of an integrated apporach to addressing food insecurity in our community. Our team can help you apply and receive the maximum amount of SNAP you are eligible for.
We believe that an important part of healthy eating is learning how to prepare tasty meals at home. Family Table creates and adapts recipes for our clients that are simple, nutritious, and inexpensive. Our recipes highlight easy and creative ways to use the fresh and frozen produce, as well as whole grains, beans, lean proteins, and other foods we provide. All our recipes are also available in Russian. View some of our recipes to find healthy meals, side dishes, snacks, and desserts, curated by our Registered Dietitian.
Home Cooking Without a Kitchen
Housing remains a major challenge among low-income families. JF&CS, in partnership with Project Bread, responded to this concern by publishing Home Cooking without a Kitchen, a cookbook that provides twenty-one tasty and nutritious recipes that are budget-friendly, simple to prepare, and can be made without a full kitchen. This has been a welcome resource for families living in shelters. The cookbook is free to download and distribute in both English and in Spanish. We ask only that you please credit JF&CS when you use it.
Our volunteers are dedicated to making a difference by providing an important caring connection to the community for our clients. Each month, hundreds of volunteers give their time to Family Table. Last year, Family Table volunteers packed more than 35,000 bags and made more than 3,300 grocery deliveries to clients who might otherwise have gone without.
Volunteers can join us for a few hours once a month or on a one-time basis. Families with young children are welcome to volunteer. In this way, children experience hands-on tzedakah and truly come to understand that they can make a difference in the lives of others.
Our volunteer community is also very important in supplying much of the food we distribute. Seventy collection sites, including synagogues, Jewish day schools, and community centers from around Greater Boston, the North Shore, and the South area donate food to Family Table each month, supplying nearly two-thirds of the food we provide.
Massachusetts has seen a 59% increase in food insecurity since the start of the pandemic. Family Table’s most critical need is for more volunteers to help pack and deliver groceries in the North Shore, since we do not have enough volunteers each month. We appreciate any commitment—from monthly to whenever your schedule allows. If you are interested in volunteering, learn more here.
Supporters of JF&CS can now fundraise on behalf of Family Table! There are three ways to get involved:
- Host a fundraising event, like a bake-off, car wash, or garage sale.
- Ask for donations in lieu of gifts for a special occasion, like a birthday or a bar mitzvah.
- Create a virtual fundraiser to be shared on Facebook or other social media pages.
An anonymous donor is currently matching gifts dollar for dollar, so every donation your fundraiser receives will double in impact! To get started, visit our Fundraise for JF&CS page.
Launched by JF&CS in 2013, the Greater Boston Hunger Network (GBHN) is a coalition of food pantries and other food assistance organizations serving the Greater Boston area. Through bi-monthly meetings and an online forum, the Greater Boston Hunger Network is a dynamic venue for food pantry managers to learn from one another, address common challenges, and promote best practices. Our common goal: to provide more nutritious food to more people more efficiently.
“The values you live out provided us with so much more than food and material help. It’s not over-the-top to say you nourished our souls, especially when we needed it most.”
- a grateful client
Help for Basic Needs
A JF&CS professional will take the time to understand your situation and connect you with experts and resources for help across many of life's challenges.
Family Table Amazon Wish List
Supporters of Family Table can donate grocery items via our Amazon Wish List. We encourage bulk purchasing of 12 or more items if possible, rather than shipping just one or two items at a time.
Feed our community
The Power of Providing Healthy Food
Help underwrite a Month of Family Table in honor of a loved one, milestone, or to continue to enable our clients to have enough nutritious food to feed their family. You can make a difference: a gift of $5,000 will help underwrite a month of Family Table