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Donate Anytime to Table of Plenty to Support a Weekly Supper for Struggling Families, Elders, Homeless, and Hungry

September 28th, 2020 - November 21st, 2020

TABLE of PLENTY Half Moon Bay is a weekly supper for the hungry since 2012.

About this Event

TABLE of PLENTY Half Moon Bay:

The TABLE of PLENTY (TOP) was founded in 2012 by a Priest and a Wine Merchant: Fr. Charlie Fermeglia in partnership with Clyde Beffa Jr, long-time Half Moon resident and wine merchant. Our inspiration:  “…Jesus was a clever guy. …He knew that food gathers people. I never fully understood its impact until we experienced at the TABLE of PLENTY. It gives us another opportunity to ground people in making our religion concrete by putting our FAITH into action for the common good here in Half Moon Bay. — Fr. Charlie Fermeglia, founding father  (HMB Review 2012)

Learn more on our website: http://www.tableofplentyhmb. org 

TOP Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic:Strengthening Community through Innovation and Partnership

After operating as an all-volunteer organization since 2012, the TABLE of PLENTY in Half Moon Bay we admit we were caught by suprise by the sudden impact of COVID-19 Pandemic as we have been across our nation and the world. We have been committed to our mission of bringing a distinctive supper to struggling families, elders, homeless and hungry, 52 weeks a year. In the process we created community from strangers. and we Confronted with unexpected has been humbling and inspiring all in one.The story below shares what happened and the small miracles that took place working together to feed our most vulnerable.

DON’T MISS THIS!  We deeply appreciate Frances Hesselbein, who has affirmed and supported the TABLE of PLENTY Half Moon Bay since we first began in 2012.  We are deeply honored for her recent acknowledgement of our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic…


We are in touch with so many friends, collaborators and colleagues who have pivoted, adapted and reinvented themselves during this demanding and stressful time.

Nonprofit organizations are particularly challenged, as they work with communities whose needs haven’t changed, while the way we work in the world has been turned up-side-down in many ways. One example is the TABLE of PLENTY (TOP), a weekly supper for struggling families, elders, homeless and hungry in Half Moon Bay, CA. Current realities of the pandemic with changing requirements have demanded rapid thinking, instant change, new partner-collaborations with benefits for all, and devotion to mission. It is quite miraculous imagining the transformation of TOP operations over three weeks. They went from a weekly sit-down dining experience with flowers and live music and a delicious, nourishing meal with all the trimmings to delivering excellence in new ways:

Week 1-TAKE-HOME, Week 2-TAKE-OUT, Week 3-PERSONAL HOME DELIVERY where you are…

What else is new? TOP is shopping online, picking up freshly baked bread at a small local bakery, and new appointed TOP ambassadors making thoughtful phone calls to those alone and isolated. TOP’s founding director, Sr. Jeanette Braun, says it best: “Our TOP volunteers strive to reflect LOVING ONE ANOTHER in our work At this time of crisis, we’ve been blessed with an opportunity to prove how powerful love is in reinventing and sustaining the communities we serve.”

Moving stories like this one give us all hope and affirm that our WORK at its best is LOVE made visible.— Frances Hesselbein  

ABOUT Frances Hesselbein… Frances Hesselbein is the President and CEO of The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, founded as The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, and renamed in 2012 to honor Frances Hesselbein’s legacy and ongoing contributions. Mrs. Hesselbein was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America’s highest civilian honor, by President Clinton in 1998 for her leadership as CEO of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. from 1976-1990 as well as her service as “a pioneer for women, volunteerism, diversity and opportunity.” Her contributions were also recognized by the first President Bush, who appointed her to two Presidential Commissions on National and Community Service.

MAKE a DONATION Anytime !!


TABLE of PLENTY (TOP) Website:


Creating a memorable dining experience. Every Thursday evening, our TABLE of PLENTY volunteers create a beautiful dining room, complete with table cloths, fresh flowers, real plates and flatware, and music. Each guest is | seated and served a warm, healthy meal by our TOP volunteer servers in black aprons and our signature custom name badges seen volunteering for those in need. Sample Meal: Pasta with Meat Sauce, garlic bread, organic green salad, freshly baked pie, and a choice of beverages.

Loving one another is our goal.  Sr. Jeanette Braun, Director of the TABLE of PLENTY says it best: “We honor the dignity of each person. Whether you cook the food, serve it, or greet our guests, our standard is high: We all strive to reflect LOVING ONE ANOTHER as each volunteer puts their fingerprints on creating a memorable supper for everyone. Our TOP volunteers range from 13-80+ years-old. They work together bringing their smiles, warmth and kindness to each guest, who may hunger for more than food.

Achieving GOALS matters. The TABLE of PLENTY has served over 22,600 delicious meals. Volunteering for those in need, TOP is poised to again achieve its GOALS:

  • Building and keeping a TOP volunteer team that is second-to-none and operates with repeatable processes to make it possible to serve our guests with love and efficiency.
  • Controlling the rate of our growth, so we deliver excellence within our budget.


Read our FOUNDING STORY: “VIEW from the TOP: Building Community and Achieving Results” written by Fr. Charlie Fermeglia, TOP’s founder, Sr. Jeanette Braun, SND, Director, and Debbe Kennedy, founding TOP Leadership Team. It is published in Leader to Leader Journal (Spring 2015 – John Wiley), volunteering for those in need a global business journal with the distinction of winning the Apex Award for Excellence in Publishing for nine consecutive years, including 2015. We are deeply grateful for this honor. To download a PDF copy of the article online go to this link:

SIGN-UP for our TOP  Volunteer Team

The Priest and the Wine Merchant

TOP’s Founding Fathers

In the fall of 2012, there was no brainstorming or long conversations needed to prompt the great idea. It was a simple exchange between Fr. Charlie Fermeglia and Clyde Beffa, co-owner and wine director of K&L Wine Merchants. They stood outside at Clyde’s car in front of the rectory at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in Half Moon Bay, California. Clyde unloaded some wine as a gift for the priests and mentioned that he wanted to do something special in honor of his mother’s life. Fr. Charlie popped the question, “How about a wine tasting?” Clyde’s answer was “Yes!”—and the rest is history. What followed in less than 6 weeks would engage the parish family and gather people from the greater community. The 3-hour event would also spawn the Table of Plenty (TOP), a weekly supper for struggling families, seniors, and homeless people in our coastal community—and what could be a more moving tribute to Mary Beffa, an immigrant mother, than to know her son is carrying on the legacy that she taught him at the table, “there is always room for one more.” Again at first glance, one might think these two innovators didn’t have much in common. However, the partnership isn’t so surprising once you know that love of family and deeply held values are the common ground. Both are sons of immigrant families. Both love cooking and good food. Both care about their community and the people in it—and were raised by mothers who planted the seed—the one that shapes who we become and how we see and care about the world around us.

That first wine tasting event started what would be the early beginnings of Table of Plenty. Through that single event that lasted 3 hours, we were able to raise over sixteen thousand dollars which represented Table of Plenty’s seed money for the first year, allowing us to prepare and serve warm, healthy supper for struggling families and homeless people every Thursday evening in Half Moon Bay. Table of Plenty stands to this day as a tribute to Clyde Beffa’s mother who believe that regardless of how little or how much food you have, there is always room for one more at the dinner table.

From Idea to Start-Up in Six Weeks

There were a few quick and hard lessons to learn. Producing a wine tasting event was new to Fr. Charlie—and the notion of the Table of Plenty had not yet emerged; Sr. Jeanette had not yet arrived on the scene — and there was a great need to bring people together. Tasting wines from around the world provided a fun, community- building opportunity.

The work began by forming a small multitalented, cross-disciplinary wine tasting leadership team and building a meaningful purpose. Fr. Charlie hand selected a few people known for delivering results and by answering a key question: What have you always wanted to do? Fr. Charlie began rattling off every detail (right down to the meal itself) that he had envisioned about what would become the Table of Plenty, a weekly supper for the hungry. He spoke of the need he knew existed and of inspirations experienced in Half Moon Bay and San Francisco, as well as biblical stories of Jesus feeding the hungry and helping the needy. “The vision isn’t a soup-kitchen buffet, but a nice sit-down meal respectfully served on tables with tablecloths. It’s exciting to me to think that something like this could be a bridge to communication among people of different cultures, lifestyles, opinions, of faith or of no faith.” The vision for the Table of Plenty gave everyone something significant to believe in and strive to create together.

Sr. Jeanette moved into town and accepted Fr. Charlie’s offer to be TOP’s founding director. She built our TOP all-volunteer team. Our first supper was in January 2013. The rest is history…

Excerpts above are from about our founding story published in Leader to Leader, an award-winning global business journal (John Wiley –Josey Bass 2015): “View from the TOP: Universal Principles for Building Community and Achieving Results” written by Fr. Charlie Fermeglia, Sr. Jeanette Braun, and Debbe Kennedy by invitation. Read the article or download a copy at this link:


September 28th, 2020
November 21st, 2020
Event Category:


Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 United States + Google Map
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