At the Friendship Table

Friendship Table officials Barb Shufran, at left, and Joe Doriguzzi said the facility has been reaping the bounty of a generous community with a recent grant from Walmart and the delivery of fresh summer produce from Canticle Farm.

Staff at Friendship Table have plenty to be thankful for these days following announcements they will receive a $1,250 grant from Walmart Supercenter in Bradford as well as a larger share of fresh produce from Canticle Farm.

Chairman Barb Shufran said the generosity of the community has once again helped the Table, now in its 20th year of operation, with food, supplies and funds.

“This is a very competitive grant from Walmart because everybody across the nation applies for them,” Shufran explained. “We were told we may get it or we may not. We were surprised we not only got the grant, but got $250 more.”

She said the funds will be used for overhead expenses, which are needed as the organization operates strictly on donations and receives no state or federal funds.

Sharon Yost, manager of Walmart and a board member with the Table, said the funds are provided to nonprofits through the store’s Local Community Grants program.

“There are different organizations that apply for this,” Yost explained. “It’s a store (philosophy) to help organizations in the community.”

Shufran said the Table, located on East Corydon Street, has been helped by Walmart in other manners, too. The Table regularly receives supplies of food from Walmart through the national Feeding America program.

Shufran said the Table also received its first delivery of fresh, naturally grown produce from Canticle Farm in Allegany, N.Y., on Friday. The shares of food are donated by Canticle Farm, which is owned by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany.

“We have Selene and Jim Machuga pick it up and deliver it to us,” she said of produce transported from the farm on South Nine Mile Road in Allegany. “We went from two and a half shares (of produce) to five shares this year.”

Co-chairman Joe Doriguzzi added, “We cook fresh vegetables four out of five days a week, if we have them. The kids will come in here and say it is the first hot meal they’ve had for the day.”

Along those lines, the Table is promoting more “kid friendly” meals this summer, by providing foods children enjoy.

“We have something kid friendly on the menu everyday to try and get all of the kids to come in during the summer for the evening meal,” Shufran remarked, noting breakfast is also served weekdays.

On a related note, Shufran said the board is currently making plans for the Table’s 20th anniversary, which will be observed in October.

“We’re going to throw around ideas and finalize what we want to do,” Shufran said of the celebration. “We want to give back to the community for all of its help. It’s through the efforts of the community that we can stay open.”

For more information on the Table, or to make a donation, call 362-6658.


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