Silver Spring Nonprofits Team with Shepherd’s Table to Help Feed Clients

Two Silver Spring nonprofit organizations have teamed up with Shepherd’s Table in a three-way collaboration to help keep its clients fed each day.

According to Christina Moore, director of meal services and overseer of all meal programs, the effort includes three meals served each weekday, and brunch and dinner on weekends and holidays.

Moore also supervises the Beyond the Table program, where about 200 meals a day are packed up and taken on alternating days to either Parkland Middle School in Aspen Hill or Riverdale Elementary School in Riverdale for distribution to those who need the meals.

To assist in the effort, Shepherd’s Table gets seasonal produce donated from CKC Farming on Easley Street.

“This time of year, we’ve gotten turnips, bok choy, we just got beautiful carrots—root vegetables and greens,” Moore said.

The chefs, who are all classically trained and who Moore described as “super-duper creative,” take the fresh ingredients and plan around them. One recent example was a Moroccan lentil stew with CKC turnip greens; another was a dish of roasted turnips and potatoes with a garlic-herb marinade that was served with a fish entrée.

Shepherd’s Table also grows some of it own produce through an urban garden program, which Moore oversees.

“We have a small garden in our backyard, if you will,” Moore said. “We have 13 tables and a greenhouse.”

The organization just hired an urban garden coordinator as Moore’s role has expanded.

“We want to produce more food, but also ultimately teach some of our newly housed clients to grow their own food and become more self sustainable,” she said.

Once she has the menus in hand, Moore sends a weekly wish list to Monica O’Malley de Castillo, Silver Spring Cares executive director. She in turn shares that with the volunteers in the SSC Neighborhood Ambassadors program, who collect the requested items and deliver them to Shepherd’s Table.

“It’s all very much a collaborative effort,” Moore said. “We piece together what we get from different donors to make these incredible meals.”

The wish list varies weekly and can include items such as the aforementioned lentils, or sauces like soy and fish sauce, among other things.

“If we don’t get onions one week, then I can ask [SSC] to send us onions,” Moore said. “Anything we have asked for, they absolutely deliver.”

Photo courtesy Christina Moore

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