Community Table celebrates 25 years of service

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Serving more than 100 meals a day, seven days a week, all year round, the community table is celebrating 25 years of meals and service to the Eau Claire community.

It's an exciting night at the Community Table as the non-profit is looking back on all of its accomplishments during the last 25 years.

But it's also a time to look forward to what's still to come and a new focus on feeding the children in our community. It's a no questions asked, free meal for anyone who is hungry. “You can count on the community table,” said Kevin Johnson, a patron.

The Community table has been a reliable meal for the past 25 years. “This community of Eau Claire to have a willingness to keep this going 7 days a week, 365 days a year, you should be proud,” said Hector Acosta , a volunteer.

It’s a proud moment for volunteers, employees and all of the donors over the years. “I think this really speaks to the charitable spirit of our community, the fact that the Community Table is truly a community led endeavor,” said Executive Director, Michelle Koehn.

Nearly 90 percent of the support is coming from the community to feed more than 100 meals a day and nearly 40,000 meals a year. “It’s truly neighbors feeding neighbors and neighbors helping neighbors,” Koehn said.

Even with 25 years in the books, the community table is not slowing down. “Our emphasis is to keep it open for everyone, especially for families and kids,” Koehn said.

In 2017 the Community Table served 1200 youth meals, but already this year they are on track for 10,000 meals served to local youth. “One in five kids going hungry here is not acceptable to me, for the community to say what can I do, whether I give an hour or ten hours or 100 hours of my time and resources ,” Koehn said.

But no matter the goal, the Community Table knows they can count on Eau Claire to follow through. “Now, we get to really appreciate how it’s become a generational effort and we’re meeting the needs for the community. If the community needs growth than the organization needs to grow too but if they subside then I think we are all doing an incredible job and we’ve made a lasting impact,” Koehn said.

The 25th anniversary event is also a fundraiser for the Community Table from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday night. There were food vendors, raffle drawings and a panel of speakers including the original founders of the Community Table.

The Community Table is celebrating a milestone with an event to help fight hunger.

Thursday from 4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Community Table in Eau Claire, people can stop by and enjoy food trucks, baked goods, student performances and family activities.

The Community Table says the money raised will go back to fight hunger and food insecurity.

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