Organizers hope Tuesday Table continues as a food resource even post-pandemic
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, Tuesday Table has been providing various essentials to the Davis and Yolo County communities. These essentials include—but are not limited to—food, books and other personal care items. Over the past few months, Tuesday Table has continued to grow and provide for the community.
Melanie Carr, a Yolo County Tuesday Table organizer, explained how Tuesday Table progressed to offer six main tables: three in Davis, two in Woodland and one in Knights Landing.
“The people who are doing the Tuesday Tables each week are consistent and the tables are consistent,” Carr said. “We’re a little bit more consistent in our operations in terms of when do we get the donations and how we get them out to people who need them.”
Lindsay Wilson Terry, another organizer for Tuesday Table in Yolo County, noted the large appeal of Tuesday Table due to its efficiency. While other food distribution sites may require paperwork or identifying information, Tuesday Table does not.
“We don’t require any paperwork,” Terry said. “You don’t have to give us your address or your phone number. You come, you get what you need—you don’t need to tell us your business.”
Carr emphasized that Tuesday Table’s main goal is to get as much food to people as the organizers can.
“We don’t want any food to go to waste,” Carr said. “We want it to go out to people who need it. We want to give the community an opportunity to participate in that, and then I think we get a stronger sense of our community and who’s in it.”
Terry explained how Tuesday Table allows residents to choose from a variety of goods instead of receiving a preselected box, which is a common method for distributing necessities. This way, residents can take what they truly need.
“We’re a way to give even more life to some of those boxes—to some of that aid that people get elsewhere,” Terry said. “It doesn’t give individual voice and choice to everybody. I feel like that’s something our table provides.”
Co-host for Tuesday Table in Knights Landing Sara Guevara-Plunkett described how she first became involved with Tuesday Table. When the pandemic began, Guevara-Plunkett became financially insecure and used Tuesday Table because she felt too ashamed to utilize other food distribution sites.
“Because of Tuesday Table, I was allowed to get the help that I needed but in a more respectful manner,” Guevara-Plunkett said. “I could keep my privacy, but still continue to build my life.”
Guevara-Plunkett further explained how Knights Landing is a food desert, meaning residents have limited access to affordable fresh produce. Guevara-Plunkett knew she wanted to give back to her community and brought up the idea of hosting her own Tuesday Table with her housemate Elyse.
“Now that we’re hosting Tuesday Tables, we can see that it does help a lot of people and a lot of families,” Guevara-Plunkett said. “The people that come not only get things for themselves, but for their neighbors.”
Fellow co-host for Tuesday Table in Knights Landing Elyse Kristine Ong elaborated on the rewarding experience of hosting a table.
“It’s a really humbling experience,” Ong said. “It gives me a lot of hope in the world, considering this devastating time that we’re living in right now.”
Ong further commented on the hectic schedule of hosting a Tuesday Table.
“Even though it’s really busy, [Guevarra-Plunkett] and I are constantly out almost on an everyday basis collecting donations,” Ong said. “We’re constantly emailing new organizations and trying to coordinate volunteers to come help us.”
Terry reflected on the tenacity of the Tuesday Table effort as a whole.
“Our handful of core tables that have been around for months—I think they can carry on indefinitely,” Terry said. “We have figured out our system. We’re known as a resource. We’re known as someone who can prevent food from going into the waste stream. We’re known as someone who provides food for the community.”
Carr reflected on what Tuesday Table has in store for the future.
“As long as we keep getting donations, we’re going to keep going,” Carr said. “Most of us are committed to keeping those tables up to the extent practicable and we’re planning to keep chugging along here. Honestly, I think it’s a great thing so as long as we have the ability to keep doing that, I think we’re going to keep doing it.”
Written By: Jelena Lapuz — firstname.lastname@example.org