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The Recorder – Rachel’s Table doubles holiday turkey distribution in wake of pandemic

Published: 11/15/2020 2:43:44 PM

SPRINGFIELD — Recognizing the financial challenges many Western Massachusetts residents are facing this holiday season, the food access program Rachel’s Table is providing 1,310 turkeys to 29 agencies that serve the hungry — more than double what was distributed last year.

“We are so grateful that for many years, thousands of residents in Western Mass have enjoyed Thanksgiving meals because of the generosity of the Thanksgiving Fund of Rachel’s Table, which was established by Daydie Hochberg on her 70th birthday,” explained Associate Director Sarah Maniaci. “Daydie’s friends, family and the community continue to carry out her wish to make Thanksgiving a little easier for our hungry neighbors.”

Hochberg’s cousin and Rachel’s Table board member Judy Yaffe is organizing the distribution, which is also getting extra funding support this year from the Healthy Community Emergency Food Fund of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts.

According to a Rachel’s Table press release, Arnold’s Meats will be delivering the turkeys to food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties, including the Franklin County Community Meals Program, which operates meal sites in Greenfield, Orange and Turners Falls. Kosher turkeys will also be provided to those observing Jewish dietary laws.

After 150 turkeys were delivered to the Amherst Survival Center, Executive Director Lev Ben-Ezra remarked, “We made a commitment this year to make sure everyone who came to the pantry would get a turkey, or for households of one or two, a large turkey breast. Given how much our pantry has grown since the pandemic, this was a tall order. We expect to serve more than 1,000 households this month and could not do it without Rachel’s Table. Their support has been critical.”

Serving 53 agencies, Rachel’s Table delivers more than 11,000 pounds of food each week, the release states. More than 200 volunteers rescue food six days a week from area restaurants, supermarkets and caterers.

To donate or for more information, call 413-733-0084 or visit

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