TABLE Expands To Feed More Hungry Children

There will soon be more seats at the table for those children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro who are hungry.

The nonprofit organization TABLE was formed in 2008, with the mission to help feed elementary school children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Nearly seven years later, TABLE Executive Director Ashton Chatham Tippins says their overall mission is the same.

“We provide healthy food for weekends and school holidays, when they don’t have access to their free school meals,” she says. “On Thursday afternoons we’ll deliver a bag filled with healthy non-perishables, local produce, and fresh milk, every week. And then we’ll give them extra food for the holidays, including Christmas coming up, which will help provide them with extra food then.”

Ashton Chatham Tippins spoke with WCHL’s Aaron Keck.


In the past, TABLE has only been able to provide service to elementary school children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. But thanks to generous donations, the service is now extending to serve preschool and middle school children in the community. According to Chatham Tippins, “30 percent of elementary school kids are on free-and-reduced lunches in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It’s 60  percent of preschool kids and 24 percent of middle-school kids.”

And with that significant need, the service will now be providing extra food on weekends and holidays to more than 300 local children.

TABLE has two full-time employees, with one part-time member of the staff, and they rely heavily on volunteers – both to assist on site with different events and to organize donation drives. That leaves many opportunities for the community to help out feeding needy children in our area.

Chatham Tippins says residents can help by “donating food and funds. You can host a food drive in your church, your neighborhood, or business, and collect the food and donate it to TABLE. And we always are in need of funds as well.”

And TABLE has an opening for a paid internship beginning next spring. If you would like to submit an application for the position, e-mail your resume and cover letter to

More information about the entire TABLE organization, as well as a portal for donations, is available here.

PORCH Marks A Million; TABLE Expands

Big news for two local hunger relief agencies – one of which is planning a major expansion, one of which is marking a major milestone.

The local nonprofit PORCH has raised nearly a million dollars for hunger relief since its founding four years ago – and in the next few weeks, they’ll pass that million-dollar mark officially.

On Monday, December 15, PORCH will hold a celebration to mark the milestone at 9:00 a.m. at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill. Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle and Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt will be on hand to speak.

PORCH stands for People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Homes. Founded in 2010, the organization raises about $20,000 each month in food and cash donations from about 140 participating neighborhoods in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

People in participating neighborhoods place non-perishable food donations on their porch on PORCH designated food drive days. Then, PORCH volunteers pick up the donations and distribute them to eight local food pantries to help local families living below the poverty line.

Meanwhile: around 60 percent of preschool students and 24 percent of middle school students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System receive free or reduced school meals. That’s why TABLE, another local grassroots non-profit, is expanding its services beyond just elementary school students. Now it will include preschool and middle school children as well.

TABLE provides healthy food to hungry students that are too young to provide for themselves. After its founding in 2008 that served 12 children, TABLE served 277 children this summer and is continuing to expand.

September Fundraiser/Concert Is “Not So Normal”

It’s being billed as “a celebration of community and philanthropy” – and it’s hitting Chapel Hill on the weekend of September 12-14.

It’s the “Not So Normal 5K.” Organized by Jay Radford – a dad who writes the “Mom in Chapel Hill” blog – the event is ‘not so normal’ because it will benefit not just one, but dozens of local charities. Proceeds from the 5K on Sunday, September 14 will benefit the Carrboro ArtsCenter and the NC Children’s Hospital; participants are encouraged to bring book donations for Book Harvest or food donations for TABLE and PORCH - and participants are also encouraged to form teams and solicit sponsors to raise funds for any non-profit in the area. (“Run for what moves you,” says Radford.)

And in keeping with the ‘not so normal’ vibe, the event is not just a 5K – it actually spans the entire weekend, from Friday through Sunday, with comedy shows at DSI Comedy Theater, a Pajama Party at the ArtsCenter, a movie on the lawn at Weaver Street Market, pre-race dinners at restaurants across Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and more.

The weekend culminates with an outdoor concert Sunday night at University Mall, headlined by rising country star Frankie Ballard (whose single “Helluva Life” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart earlier this year) and featuring Nashville-based performers Casey Jamerson and Stereosparks as well as local kids’ entertainers The BuzzTown Band. The concert is being presented by WQDR radio, 94.7 FM – so tickets to the show cost just $9.47.

Organizer Jay Radford spoke with WCHL’s Aaron Keck on “Aaron in the Afternoon.”

Aaron also spoke with the concert headliner, Frankie Ballard…

…as well as Casey Jamerson, who performed on Broadway and in Australia before starting her Nashville career…

…and Storey Condos, the lead singer of Stereosparks.

For a complete schedule of events and ticket information, visit

This Week, Support The Farmer Foodshare Challenge

This week, volunteers will be out at Triangle-area farmers’ markets to encourage attendees to donate to Farmer Foodshare, a program to provide fresh food for local residents in need.

It’s the sixth annual Farmer Foodshare Challenge, and it’s been ongoing since June 1 at farmers’ markets in Chatham, Orange, Durham and Wake Counties – a total of 17 farmers’ markets in all. The goal is to raise $5000 for the program, which provides funds to a wide variety of local hunger agencies including TABLE, PORCH, and Club Nova. Proceeds will be used to create a winter buying reserve, to enable agencies to keep providing fresh food to needy families all year long.

Farmer Foodshare executive director Gini Bell joined Aaron Keck on the WCHL Afternoon News to discuss the program.

Founded in 2009 at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market, Farmer Foodshare now serves more than 20,000 people each year, with the help of local farmers, farmers’ markets, volunteers, businesses and nonprofits. To support this year’s Farmer Foodshare Challenge, visit

TABLE’s 5th Anniversary at Carrboro Farmers Market

Food truck rodeo, games for kids, craft vendors, and local music, you could find it all at TABLE’s 5th Birthday Party! Friends and neighbors gathered at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market to help support hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.