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United Way collaboration focuses on food security

Agency provides major funding for Riverway Project

The Cape and Islands United Way (CIUW) awarded a $75,000 grant to the Family Table

Collaborative (FTC), partnering with the group on a bold initiative to address nutritional security across Cape Cod.

In response to the pandemic outbreak in 2020, chefs from Cape Cod began to collaborate last March, gathering donated food and feeding people in need. The end result is the Family Table Collaborative, an organization that has been providing 800-1,000 dinners per week throughout the pandemic.

Getting ready to serve nutritious, prepared dinners at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center. From left: Harry Henry from the Family Table Collaborative; Christine Eosco, board chair of the Cape and Islands United Way; and Jeni Wheeler from the Family Table Collaborative.

Group organizers say that is just the beginning of what they hope to accomplish – and what led them to create the Riverway project. FTC has taken over the former Riverway Restaurant on Route 28 in South Yarmouth with big plans to provide delicious, nutritious meals in far greater numbers – serving all of the Cape.

“What we have found is that today’s need for food is more than a COVID-induced issue,” said

Jeni Wheeler, co-founder of the FTC. “Access to food is a major issue. We have food; the

biggest challenge is getting nutritional food to the people that need it.”

The Riverway site would, in the vision of the FTC, become a thriving hub for preparing, serving

and supporting nutritional security efforts. Mark Skala, President and CEO of the Cape and

Islands United Way, said that the vision and the passion of the FTC brought this agency to the


“While some of the logistics are still being worked out, the risk of doing nothing is far greater,”

Skala said, acknowledging the project had enthusiastic support of the Cape and Islands United Way board and generous supporters at the Best Night gala in June.

Christine Eosco, board chair for the Cape and Islands United Way, said this major grant to the

Family Table Collaborative is about joining forces to make long-term, systemic change.

“The Cape and Islands United Way is proud to support this important initiative by the Family

Table Collaborative,” Eosco noted. “Helen Keller once said ‘alone we can do so little; together

we can do so much.”

To learn more about the Riverway project and the Family Table Collaborative, visit

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