When Jeni Wheeler and Harry Henry co-founded the Family Table Collaborative (FTC) in March 2020, it was done so as a rapid response program to address the needs of families and seniors that were struggling with food security during the pandemic. And they never stopped. After as preparing and and distributing more than 90,000 meals, soups, and other food items for the Cape Cod community, it is clear that food and nutritional security is a full-time, year-round crisis.
Now a registered 501(c)3, the mission of FTC is to create nutritional security for Cape Cod by providing nutritious and delicious prepared meals to our community members in need. They currently work with local food makers and farms including Chatham Bars Inn Farm, Cape Cod Organic Farm, CapeAbilities Farm, Wellfleet SPAT and Gustare Oils & Vinegars, as well as their newest partner, Whole Foods. These partnerships, along with collaborations with local organizations and agencies that work in the food security space, will amplify distribution substantially. FTC projects their current output of more than 1,000 meals per week to increase at least threefold by 2024.
FTC is currently engaged in a. capital campaign to raise $500,000 to secure the purchase of 1338 Route 28 in Yarmouth (formerly the Riverway Lobster House), complete with a large commercial kitchen and several other spaces that will be used for the community. When the property is purchased, the current owner, Jason Siscoe, has agreed to loan back $500,000 in operating capital, which will cover all operating expenses for the first year. FTC is creating, under one roof, a local makers market, cafe, and space for local food makers and entrepreneurs to create and sell their products, and all profits from these public spaces (collectively called the Commons at Riverway) will go to running, sustaining, and growing the Family Table Collaborative.
The Commons at Riverway will include:
- Educational opportunities, including cooking classes and guest chef demonstrations
- Kitchen space rental for local food makers and entrepreneurs
- A local maker’s market, featuring craft food products for sale
- Space for ongoing community functions, fundraising dinners, and wine and spirit pairings featuring the American Culinary Federation partners
- A community herb and vegetable garden, utilizing shipping containers equipped with modern hydroponics and sustainable, environmentally friendly farming techniques
- The FTC media center, to create and share educational video content around nutritional security
- Eventual build out of 4 to 5 apartments on the property, creating affordable housing for employees
OPEN HOUSE: Family Table Collaborative’s Commons at Riverway, Sunday, November 14 from 11 to 4
It is purely coincidental that the Family Table Collaborative chose their open house to land during the week of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, but it comes at the perfect time to continue to spread their message.
The day will start with a ribbon cutting with the Yarmouth Chamber, and visitors will be able to explore the space, shop in the maker’s market, purchase food from the cafe, and look at architectural renderings to see future plans for the Riverway space.