Do you understand what it means to provide a sharing table?
If you have everything you need, open your heart to others, and to those who are trying to help them.
Most of you know that we live in the Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma, and do a lot of our food sharing from our home. I (Ursula) have rented this house for the past 4 years. When David and I got married last year we decided to keep the houses that we rented individually until we could find a home or property where we could combine our households. The “hilltop house” is where we live with our 4 cats, and “the farm” is where our nephew, 2 dogs, chickens and ducks live and where we have our office.
Our sharing table is thriving, and many people rely on it.
In the Spring of last year I decided to put a sharing table out in front our house on Hilltop to share the bounty from my own home garden. That single table quickly turned to 4, and what was being shared also changed. During the pandemic a lot of folks are experiencing food insecurity for the first time and the sharing table provided a low barrier, low judgment way for people to obtain food compared to some of the alternatives. The food we put out moves so fast that there’s something new from day to day – everything from boxes of cereal to special treats like homegrown peaches. It’s become a hub where neighbors share with each other.
Our landlord wants us to stop sharing food.
I just received notice from my landlord that she wants me to remove all of our sharing tables from the public right of way, and to discontinue the fresh produce that we’ve been sharing in the past month with the gleaning that we’ve been doing. Even though y’all are awesome and help us distribute more than a thousand lbs of produce in less than 24 hours she thinks it’s attracting urban wildlife (it’s not), and it has to stop.
The loss of the resource that our sharing table provides for the community would be devastating.
I’m not sure she’s aware how much of a community asset these tables are. I would so appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on our sharing tables by sending me an email at [email protected] – tell me what the sharing tables mean to you and the difference they make to hungry people in our neighborhoods. I will pass along the messages to our landlord and post them to our social media and website, to use them to inspire others to open their hearts and get involved in Sharing With Others Who Need Our Help. I know how much our sharing tables mean to y’all, and the thought of losing them has caused me a great amount of anxiety and sadness. We’re not going to let that happen, but it’s striking how people who have enough don’t think about those that don’t. Let’s make the world a better place by sharing.
Ursula and David Thompson