With the holiday season at a close, Taunton Area Community Table (TacT) is approaching the third anniversary of Wendy Berry and Michaeline Saladyga founding the meal center: January 15, 2015.
Wendy was kind enough to talk to us about their services: “We’re a community center before a kitchen,” Wendy describes, “first and foremost.”
That is the definite sense that TacT gives off. Guests are seated restaurant-style; and are served homemade food. “We take pride in what we serve,” Wendy says. Her own specialty is sloppy joes and stuffed peppers while Michaeline’s is chicken a la king.
TacT was created with a motivation to be welcoming; family- and children-friendly. It’s in the seating arrangement, yes. But it’s also in the bulletin boards that children are encouraged to fill with their own drawings or grade reports. It’s in the commitment to guests’ anonymity, how no questions are asked, how no one is required to sign in or divulge anything they wouldn’t want to. Folks come from anywhere in the Taunton Area, if they feel they need a free meal or supplies, they are welcome.
TacT relies on donations from all kinds of sources—from businesses and organizations down to individual persons. Sometimes it’s money, other times it’s food. TacT has even been able to supplement what aid they already offer in meals with minor necessities—reusable bags, coats, school supplies for children, and more. Wendy and the volunteers help make that possible through donations of their own. Wendy reports, “Doing that is great joy for me.”
In addition: TacT is set to send a gift of $1000 to a similar operation in Beaumont, Texas, in light of the distress that the recent storms have brought to that area.
Wendy says TacT is where strangers become friends, guests and volunteers alike. The meal center facilitates much good people do unto others. Though, as tends to happen at this time of year, outside aid often takes a nosedive.
“People are just as hungry on January 25th as they are on December 25th,” Wendy says.
Wendy, Michaeline, and their 30-35 volunteers—have done an outstanding job keeping people not just full, but also connected and cared for.
TacT is open: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10am until 1pm, serving breakfast & lunch.
Thursday nights, serving dinner 4:30pm – 7pm. Although anyone is welcome on Thursdays, their focus is on kids and families.
They also serve breakfast from 9am – 11am on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Saturday of each month.
TacT is located at 378 Bay Street in Taunton, Massachusetts.