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McFarland teachers provide food and community at the Shared Table

Union members understand the value of community.  One of the most fundamental reasons people join and participate in unions is because they know that whether it's at work, at home, or in our communities, we are all stronger - and happier - when we work together to make our lives better.  The members of AFT local 3497, the McFarland Federation of Teachers, put those values into action on March 17 by helping to provide a meal to McFarland residents through Shared Table.

Shared Table is a McFarland nonprofit organization that facilitates 50 community meals each year, open to all members of the McFarland community.  The organization's primary goals are to provide nutritious meals to food insecure residents and to facilitate friendship and social interaction among seniors and other people in the area.

Each week, a different organization in the McFarland area provides not only the food, but also volunteers to prepare the meal, serve the guests, and join them at their tables for dinner.  On March 17, over 30 members of the McFarland Federation of Teachers and their family members met at the McFarland Lutheran Church, bearing huge quantities of pasta, spaghetti sauce, salads, bread, and desserts.  

Over the course of the evening, MFT members...

Sliced bread:

Cooked spaghetti sauce:

Prepared the serving tables:

And helped kids pick out the perfect desserts:

Members also circulated among the tables, refilling drinks for guests, and, in two shifts, joined guests at their tables to share a meal.  After everyone had been served, guests were invited to take home a second meal in takeout containers to eat later during the week.  In all, MFT members served around 80 meals to guests, with enough left over to provide takeout meals to anyone who wanted one.

For more information about the McFarland Shared Table, please visit sharedtablecommunitymeals.com