Sara’s Table: Serving food and friendship

By Maria Dibuo [email protected]

			
				                                Sara’s Table is open from 9:30 to 11 a.m., and promotes a kind and social atmosphere, where guests can make friends and exchange recipes.

Sara’s Table is open from 9:30 to 11 a.m., and promotes a kind and social atmosphere, where guests can make friends and exchange recipes.

<p>Sara’s Table offers a variety of items, from fresh items to non-perishables, and offers patrons the opportunity to shop for their items, much like a normal grocery trip.</p>

Sara’s Table offers a variety of items, from fresh items to non-perishables, and offers patrons the opportunity to shop for their items, much like a normal grocery trip.

In a time where worrying about putting a meal on the table is a concern for many, Sara’s Table at Chaiken-Kraus Food Pantry is there to help.

The food pantry, run by the Friedman Jewish Community Center in Kingston, provides fruits and vegetables, as well as other meal-items, in a kind and friendly atmosphere.

“It’s part of everything we do,” Barbara Sugarman, the director of adult and cultural services at the JCC, said when speaking about Sara’s Table.

Sara’s Table is supported by the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Food Bank, as well as the Commission on Economic Opportunity. Support from the community is also appreciated, and monetary and in-date food donations are always welcome.

While some registration forms are necessary for attendance, Sugarman has tried to make the process as easy as possible, especially during the pandemic.

“We work with the Commission on Economic Opportunity, and eligibility is based on declared income, so there are no questions asked,” said Sugarman. “There is even a form to fill out if someone, like your neighbor, is disabled, and cannot come in to shop themselves.”

Normally, patrons of Sara’s Table would have the opportunity to come in and shop for themselves, making the experience much like a normal grocery trip. Since the onset of COVID-19 related restrictions, however, the pantry has implemented curbside pickup to comply with state guidelines.

“Due to the pandemic, the pantry started curbside pickup,” explained Sugarman. “We have people that drive, as well as those who walk, to get their items, and we provide individuals with about two weeks worth of food, bagged and ready to go.”

Sugarman explained that since shutdowns took effect, Sara’s Table has seen an increase in new patrons. In response, the amount of times patrons can visit the pantry has increased from once a month to whenever the need is present.

“We get to know each other. People know us by name, we know about their children. They can come in and make friends, exchange recipes,” said Sugarman. “It’s a very friendly atmosphere, and that’s what we want.”

Sara’s Table is open from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Mondays and Fridays. Patrons are asked to bring proof of ID and residency, as well as their declared income.

Registration for Sara’s Table takes place when you arrive, and since July 1, the pantry began a new year. New and returning members will have to re-register upon arrival. Registration forms for patrons are filled out by Sugarman or other volunteers.

Those in need, as well as those who are interested in volunteering, can contact Barbara Sugarman at the Friedman JCC by email, or by phone at 570-824-4646.