“If you get to know those who come for our free meals, you get to know the whys of food insecurity in our community.” – Joy Shillingsburg, founder/chair, Wake Forest Community Table
Our mission is to connect members of our Wake Forest community to the essential resources of food and personal care items as well as to each other through community gatherings.
By bringing together diverse members of our community for food, connection and conversation, we seek to transform the systems that necessitate the services we provide.
Wake Forest Community Table began in 2017 as a collaboration among more than a dozen civic organizations and churches in our community to provide free meals.
It started with free meals served to people with food insecurity and grew into conversations among those who are food secure and food insecure. After meals were served, people stayed to talk to each other. They asked questions and shared stories. They explored issues and became friends.
People were being fed, but also listened to and understood.
In 2021, those conversations moved from being after the meal distribution events to a free community gatherings on Zoom and in person at a variety of locations in Wake Forest to include more of the community and have deeper and broader conversations between diverse members of our community.
The WFCT has made a significant impact in the community by distributing over 24,000 hot meals over the last three years and thousands of pounds of fresh groceries and produce sourced from local farmers. In addition, the organization has established itself as a hub for distributing a range of essential items, including clothing from Note in the Pocket, books, hygiene products, and vital services provided by partnering local non-profits. The WFCT’s efforts have brought together a network of organizations to address the needs of the community in a comprehensive and collaborative way.