HYANNIS – Amid restaurant shutdowns and social distancing, Cape Cod culinarians have joined together in the Cape Cod Family Table Collaborative to ensure the region stays nutritionally healthy, especially during the COVID pandemic.
Created in response to the ongoing outbreak, the Collaborative provides prepared meals for hospitality industry families in need during the virus slow down.
“The Family Table Collaborative is designed to produce home-cooked meals. We serve them refrigerated off the back of a refrigerated truck every Tuesday and Friday night all over Cape Cod,” said Jenni Wheeler, co-founder and co-director of the Collaborative and owner of Jeni’s Joy. “We’ve distributed at this point in time over 70,000 meals.”
The Collaborative provides those meals on Fridays to carry people through the weekends when safety net meal services on the Cape are unavailable. As the effort continued, Wheeler said the Collaborative noticed more food distribution issues across the region and partnered with more agencies to increase accessibility.
“It became clear that this wasn’t an issue just of COVID. This existed far before COVID and would exist far after, but was being further stressed by COVID. Families who haven’t had issues with food security and nutritional security all of a sudden were. Seniors, same thing. With that in mind, we looked to become a permanent entity in the fight to end hunger,” said Wheeler.
With the goal of helping in the fight against nutritional insecurity, the Collaborative recently announced that it would be taking over the Riverway Lobster House. With fundraising planned to assist in the purchase of the building, they hope to create a “self-sustaining nonprofit.”
With the acquisition of the building, the nonprofit plans to create a community kitchen that will help bring 6,000 to 8,000 meals to the residents of Cape Cod even after the pandemic.
More information on the Cape Cod Family Table Collaborative’s services can be found on their website.