coronavirus

Local Nonprofit Determined to Bring Food to Those in Need in Framingham

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During this coronavirus crisis, people are stepping up to support each other in extraordinary ways, like Daniel's Table in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The nonprofit has been distributing nutritional food to those in need for 12 years. David and Alicia Blais are the founders.

"One of the things that makes Daniel's Table unique is that we are adaptable," said David Blais. "We can look at a situation and ask what's the best thing needed and be able to do that."

And they are adapting now. The coronavirus outbreak has quadrupled the demand for food and created a lot of  challenges.

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"It's day to day," said Alicia Blais. "It's changing everyday."

"Now, all of a sudden, we don't want volunteers over 60 being here," said David Blais. "We normally have eight people prepping, all face to face, peeling carrots. Now, I can only have three, so they can be six feet apart and not facing each other. There are unique challenges on how to do things, but we'll manage." 

The organization usually distributes  prepared food from freezers, placed at locations throughout the city, but with so many schools, senior centers and local gathering places closed, they are working with community groups to  figure out a new plan. Deliveries and curbside pickup are options, and they are packing boxes for families. 

"We just packed rack of lamb, we're packing roast pork loin, and it comes with a couple of vegetables," said David Blais. "In boxes, you'll find mac and cheese in there, but you'll also find a ton of fresh produce."

Donations are strong, and they say they have more than enough food. City Councilor Michael Cannon calls the organization a lifesaver for the city.

"In every community, no matter wherever you call home, as we do in Framingham, there is always a group of people that, no matter the challenge, no matter the circumstance, seem to rally together to get things done, and those are the folks in the building behind me at Daniel's Table," said Cannon.

Daniel's Table is in the process of setting up a phone bank, so they can meet the needs of all Framingham residents as long as this crisis continues.

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