Cape Cod Family Table Collaborative Providing Food for Those in Need

HYANNIS – Cape Cod residents have felt the impact that restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak have had on the region.

To help support people who are in need, local chefs have come together and created The Cape Cod Family Table Collaborative.

The goal of the collaborative is to provide nutritious prepared meals to people and families in need during the virus shut down.

“We have partnered with the American Culinary Federation and the Cape Cod Culinary Incubator to form The Cape Cod Family Table Collaborative,” said Jeni Wheeler, founder of the collaborative, owner of Jeni’s Joy, and Executive Chef and Program Director at Faith Family Kitchen.

“Nothing could be better than at a time that seems kind of dark, being able to see the best in humanity, nothing works if we’re not feeding our community and not just feeding them, feeding them well.”

The collaborative has served over 10,000 meals and over 35,000 portions of food since it began.

“We’re here for you, no one should go hungry and that’s why we are doing what we are doing is to make sure people feel the love,” said Wheeler.

“We want to make sure that food security is not something anyone deals with. You need a little extra love, come find us.”  

Organizations throughout the region are also chipping in to help the cause.

The Cape Codder resort donated their kitchen and staff of volunteers to support the effort while Guaranteed Fresh, North Coast Seafood, and Lobster Trap provided refrigerated trucks to the collaborative to help with food distribution.

The Cape Cod Family Table Collaborative has also received support from The South Shore Community Action Council, The Greater Boston Food Bank, and Cape Cod 5.  

“It’s amazing the amount of people that have given and donated their time,” said Wheeler.  

“It takes a village and this is our village.”

The collaborative distributes food every Tuesday and Friday.

On Friday’s food is distributed at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center.

On Tuesday’s the collaborative goes to different towns who have reached out to them and requested their services.

“Every Tuesday we move the collaborative through to different communities that have needed us,” said Wheeler.

“We move it around based on who asks us and who says ‘hey look we need a little extra love in our community’ and so that’s where we bring the food to them.”

While the collaborative was born out of a need during the pandemic, Wheeler said it made her realize the need has always been present on Cape Cod.

“We are making a move to attempt to transition from being a rapid response to COVID-19 to really utilizing the platform that has shown us that food security is a major issue on Cape Cod and it’s always been here,” said Wheeler.  

“This gives us the ability to do something bigger and to make sure that we are paying attention because when families and people are hungry it impacts our communities.”

The Cape Cod Family Table Collaborative will be moving its kitchen to Camp Wingate Kirkland in Yarmouth Port.

For more information on the collaborative, click here.  

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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