For 37 years, Shepherd’s Table has served as a beacon of hope and compassion for thousands of people experiencing food insecurity in the Washington Metropolitan Area. During this long journey of serving the community, we have recognized that there are still other unmet needs in the region, especially after our pilot Beyond the Table in July. We recently began a comprehensive strategic planning process that has resulted in a board and staff commitment to launch four new programs over the next four years: Más Allá de la Mesa, Urban Food Garden, Weekend Day Program and Advocacy.
Our first new program is called Más Allá de la Mesa. Similar to our pilot program in July, it is a mobile meals program that will provide hot, nutritious dinner meals three times a week in Aspen Hill and twice a week in Riverdale. We will be partnering with public schools in bot h locations and complementing the State’s Free and Reduced Meals program by making sure that families seeking to break the cycle of poverty are also able to have dinner meals as well.
Our second new program is called the Urban Food Garden, which will allow us to quadruple our current capacity to grow vegetables and herbs behind Progress Place. In the future, we plan to teach gardening skills to interested meal guests and clients.
Our third new program is the Weekend Day Program, in which we will open the dining hall between meals on weekends for meal guests and clients to participate in organized group sessions with an experienced social worker. Our fourth and final new program is Advocacy which will allow us to formalize our advocacy efforts to improve the lives of the people we serve.
We look forward to keeping all of you apprised of our efforts to successfully implement these four new programs in the months and years to come. We will continue updating more information about these programs on our social media. We thank you for your continued support of our programs, especially during this challenging year.