Return to the Table: Community Project

This past January, I invited you to Return to Table with me.  Amidst one of the most impactful moments of my life, the passing of my mother, an epiphany about the impact she made struck me like a lightning bolt. Her legacy was one of community and connection; she could bring people from all backgrounds together like no other person I've known.

 

She laid the groundwork for this legacy by offering a simple yet profound open invitation to her kitchen table. Anyone could drop by for dinner any day of the week. There would be a meal ready and people with whom to share it. And at that very table, cultures were bridged, unity was fostered, and understanding was expanded. Visitors from various social circles broke down barriers as they fed their minds, bodies, and souls at my mother's table. Eventually, it dawned on me why most of them came back for meal after meal (aside from the incredible home-cooking): they were nourishing their most primal human needs. I’ve come to believe without equivocation that such communion is necessary and critical for our mental health and authentic happiness.

 

The New Primal's "Return to the Table" campaign forwards a commitment to make mealtime more intentional and to reconnect with people, from those you care for most to those just entering your life. To that end, we are passionately propose that with (or, on the unfortunate occasion your pantry needs Noble Made restocking, without) the help of our versatile sauces, marinades, and dressings, time to gather around the table is once again considered the norm rather than the exception.

But what if there’s a gap in that gathering place? That is the dilemma facing many of the clients of local nonprofit One80 Place, an organization that has saved over 9,000 Charlestonians from homelessness.  Over the 35 years they've been serving the City's underserved, all too often they find their clients without an essential piece of furniture on move-in day. There is no kitchen table around which to sit, let alone return.

This was a clear opportunity to really move on our mission. Acknowledging that we are handier as cooks than carpenters, we called on the assistance of local social impact event organizers from KLH Group. These longtime friends and compassionate pros got to work lining up space, gear, and fun extras for a day of labor. . On a beautiful Lowcountry spring afternoon, a dozen colleagues from The New Primal convened on Wragg Square to push saws and swing hammers. By days’ end, we were joining reps from One80 Place and their partners at Homeless to Hope to deliver four tables and eight chairs - freshly constructed by our tenacious team - to the new residences of their deserving beneficiaries. 

 

From our inaugural event, the first tables were made for a wheelchair-bound resident and a hometown veteran. We were, and will continue to be, humbled and proud to play a role in inspiring a Return to the Table, particularly for those navigating a journey of healing and rebuilding. It is our hope that they will find the same extraordinary nourishment so many found around my mother’s table.