Open Table reflects on two months of service

Morgan Slatten/Fulton Sun Volunteers at Open Table work to prepare for meal service on Thursday. The nonprofit has been open for two months, and has seen an increase in attendance.

Open Table, a nonprofit charity dedicated to fighting food insecurity in Callaway County, has now been open for just over two months.

Aaron White, an administrator for Open Table, said the Fulton nonprofit is doing well but could see issues later on.

He explained the majority of current issues lie in the certainty of food supply and amount of people coming to eat.

"We have had many donors who have made it possible for us to start comfortably through donations. We have had a huge outpouring of support from the community," White said.

White said that the start of Open Table has been successful regarding food supply. However, he sees issues down the road due to Open Table not being able to be incorporated into a food bank.

He said the Central Northeast Missouri Food Bank was not able to take in Open Table at the time as a partner.

White said that the food bank explained they were in dire position due to the lack of food being donated. They continue to search and hope to be included in a food bank.

Attendance at Open Table has increased since the start, but White still hopes for even higher turnout.

"We have seen an increase in people coming since the first month," he said. "However, we still want more. We are not short on food, if anything, we want more people being in here."

He added that they serve 60-80 plates between Monday and Thursday nights, wanting more to come.

While there have been challenges, there have been plenty of successes.

"While there is no staff, since this is voluntary work, we have done well with providing service. We have enough volunteers to where we are having a good problem of having too many volunteers," White said.

White believes that Open Table will soon be open three nights a week, because of the number of volunteers at Open Table.

He believes Open Table is making a difference in the community in cooperation with others.

"The most successful way to fight hunger is through a multi-pronged approach. We are partnered with other agencies fighting hunger. Together, we are making an impact on food-insecurity in Callaway County," he added.

Open Table is open to anyone wanting to volunteer or donate. Fresh produce, protein, and canned goods are all accepted.

Volunteers must have their food handler's card from the Callaway County Health Department.

Open Table provides free meal services on Mondays and Thursday from 5-6 p.m. at the John C. Harris Community Center (350 Sycamore St.).

To learn more about Open Table, visit