Grow, Eat, and Connect!
Aquidneck Community Table’s - ACT - mission is to grow a healthy local food system, accessible to all on our island. We work in many different ways to build that system: fresh foods at our farmers markets, school and community gardens; programs that inspire young people to love healthy foods; an annual challenge to eat locally; and a food-scrap collection program to divert food from the waste stream.
Our programs and conversations explore solutions to current and future challenges to community health: What are the consequences of climate change to our food system, and are we adequately prepared? Is a healthy food system available to all? What is the legacy we want to leave our children and grandchildren? What must we do now to ensure a healthy future for next generations?
These are questions we aim to ask and answer together. If you would like to be part of the conversation and action, please click the link to your right to receive our email updates, and sign up to volunteer in one of our programs.
ACT also aims to bring together all partners in our community to collectively build this healthy future, generating events and discussion to explore solutions that strengthen the island’s food system, support the local economy and expand access to fresh healthy food for everyone - and to act directly to grow more food, preserve open space, and teach life skills.
What We Do
ACT operates three farmers markets in Newport and Middletown - click our market page for more information - year-round on Saturday mornings at Newport Vineyards & Winery, Wednesday summer afternoons on Memorial Boulevard, and on Newport’s North Side in July and August on Monday afternoons.
ACT manages three community garden sites in Newport and Middletown - click here for garden information - and also provides support to school gardens at Pell Elementary and the East Bay Met Schools.
ACT’s Food-Scrap-To-Compost Program allows members to drop food material at our Middletown and Memorial markets for composting -program info is here - so that material is diverted from the RI waste stream and instead used to build healthy soils.
ACT holds an annual local Food Challenge in September to inspire people to think about where their food comes from and source more of their food locally.
A coalition of island organizations, informally known as Island Commons, that included Aquidneck Growers' Market, Aquidneck Land Trust, and Sustainable Aquidneck began discussions in 2008 towards a food hub and community farm on land at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Portsmouth. Over time, the discussion morphed into the need for wider understanding of food and agricultural issues, woven around the health of our bodies, our community, our land, and their entwined future.
Grants from The Kendall Foundation and The Apple Pickers Foundation allowed us to explore this vision with strategic planning consultant, Gayle Gifford of Cause & Effect. More than 40 interviews with community leaders and stake holders informed our understanding of the current island food system and made clear a need for an agency that could connect, enhance, and educate about growing and strengthening our food system, eventually resulting, in January 2016, in the merger of Island Commons, the Growers Market and Sustainable Aquidneck to form one new organization, united by not-for-profit status and a new name – Aquidneck Community Table.