The steeple of the Wellesley Village Church towers over downtown Wellesley as the sun rises.


Village Table News 3.29.24

March 30, 2024

The cooking week kicked off family style with my parents, Connie and Warren, helping me to set up the kitchen, measure out the quinoa and wash 80 lbs of sweet potatoes.  Things were well underway when the rest of the crew arrived.  Judy Woodrich, Cindy Jubinsky, Jen Kettell, Pam Snyder, Grace Wang and Virgie Pallangan took over the sweet potato production and then the rest of the veggies.

John Hargrave was the jack of all trades as he went from sweet potatoes to making the spice mix to doing the lion share of dishes with Laura Wilkins.  It was seamless and the question of the night came from one of our regular high school volunteers.  “Did you do anything fun today?”  My initial reaction after recalling the grocery store trip, laundry loads, etc etc was “not so much” but as I sit here reflecting on the experience, the fun was happening as she asked the question.  What a great reminder to look for the fun in every day.

The evening closed with everyone gathered around a work table putting 600 tortillas in bags to accompany each meal.  Quinoa, sweet potatoes, and tortillas were all ready for Thursday morning’s cooking session. We had a great head start as the cooking team was treated to cans of beans already opened and drained – it was like having real sous chefs!  Jonathan Griswold and Emma and Lucie Claughton worked the stove and made the tomato and black bean sauce that pulls the veggie tacos together. Darcey Bartel, Heather Conway, and Cathie Healy kept up with the dishes, roasted the sweet potatoes and started the cooling process.  They are so experienced with the kitchen that everything felt so smooth.  Big thanks to Joe Morray who helped me with some admin consulting while the kitchen was running so smoothly.  We left the kitchen clean and the veggie taco mix ready for assembly on Friday morning.

Cindy, Rose Marie, Pam, Laura and Teri mixing the quinoa with the veggies, sauce and beans, Looks like the Kindergarten sensory table, right?

As it was Good Friday at our host church we came in bright and early to get the packaging underway.  We had a great team with lots of new faces.  Teri Adler and Andrea Dow came with their girls and you would have thought they were regulars.  They were so complimentary of the final product, asked lots of questions about our work, and really appreciated the attention put into the presentation.  We also welcomed Rose Marie Flores who garnished each container of Veggie Taco filling with cheese and scallions.  I loved that Pam Synder and Laura Wilkins got to see the final product go into the fridges after doing so much work along the way this week.  We used up the last of the wonky containers that I purchased off Amazon and I thought dear Cindy Jubinshky might not survive the constant lid mismatches – thanks for hanging in there my friend!  And, Josh, thank you for spending your holiday vacation morning with us and for seeing that the dishes needed doing before I even asked.  You are the absolute best.  Lastly, thank you to Amy who is one of the greatest gifts I’ve received from VIllage Table.  I love how we both light up with enthusiasm in that kitchen.  Thanks for leading alongside me.

The Bubeck Family dropped off a fridge worth of meals in Watertown and received a thank you from the Community Fridge team on Instagram.  Jen, thank you to you and Cady for showing up again and again to help those in need.

For those of you who missed it on our Instagram (villagetablewellesley)

As you can imagine, the administrative tasks related to Village Table can take a bit of a back seat to our core mission of providing meals to those who are hungry.  Thank you to those who volunteered to help with donor thank yous!  I will reach out soon to get that organized.  And, thank you to Susan Basta who volunteered to help as a partner relationship contact.  I’ll chip away at organizing these items as time allows.

Take a close look at the pictures this week.  The smiles, the energy and most of all the full fridge of food in Watertown.  Seeing the impact you all made is something special.  Thank you for every single effort.

With loads of gratitude,

Shannon Kelly


Village Table Wellesley is a meal program hosted by Village Church in Wellesley >