partner spotlight: Longer Tables

Tear Top Shape


Published April 16th, 2024

In this new series on our blog, we’ll be sharing and celebrating stories from our partner organizations. First up: Longer Tables.

The non-profit organization Longer Tables began as a grassroots community effort back in 2013 to bring folks together and soothe the loneliness and isolation epidemic we are facing in the U.S. Longer Tables founder and Executive Director Tim Jones calls this work “the sustainability and regeneration of human and social connection.” A clear need for connection and community sparked this idea of setting tables. Since 2013 Longer Tables has hosted more than 40 events, bringing together over 2,500 guests. 

“We all have to eat,” says Tim. “That’s at least one thing we all have in common.” Bringing people together over a shared meal sets the table for vulnerability and with vulnerability comes authenticity. This indeed is the mission of Longer Tables: to “rehumanize and reconnect.”

Tim made it clear that Longer Tables is not an events company; rather they facilitate authentic connection and foster belonging. This is most apparent at their Community Tables, where 80-130 people are brought together at one, very long table. And Longer Tables takes a unique approach to ensuring a diverse and ever-evolving guest list. How it works: a number of co-hosts are selected across different communities and invite people in their world to join a potluck style meal. Guests are then randomly seated to sit down and eat together. Co-hosts are encouraged to not simply choose their closest friends to join. Instead, they are asked to pick a diverse group of people in their lives to bring to the table. This way, Tim explains, attendees are all more likely to be meeting people who they may not otherwise meet.

There are 3 unique rules at each Longer Tables event:


  1. No job talk. Tim says removing the labels of what we do brings us back to what we are at the core: human. Seeing ourselves outside of our work allows us to expand the conversation past the small talk. We are not our jobs.

  2. Show up as yourself. Authenticity is an important theme. The entire experience is designed to help folks feel comfortable and welcome.

  3. The table is a safe space. Tim says one of the coolest parts of this experience is the vulnerability folks experience with complete strangers.


Scraps is a fan and friend of Longer Tables and their mission of bringing people together over a meal. And as with any meal, there can be waste. That’s where Scraps comes in. As Tim says, “Scraps makes our tables green.” He points out a common theme between Longer Tables and Scraps: sustainability. Whether it’s the sustainability of human belonging and connection, or the sustainability of our planet – we believe these values are intertwined. 

We are excited to be joining the Longer Tables team in their efforts toward setting “The Mile-Long Table” in 2025. This summer, Tim and his crew of staff and volunteers will be setting “The 528 Table” on July 25, 2024 at Civic Center Park, as a step along this ambitious journey. This table will seat 528 people with food featured from five local restaurants. The public is invited to picnic with them in the park and there will be tickets available on a first come, first served basis. We’ll be sure to share the details when they are finalized!

Scraps is honored to be partners with Longer Tables and will be cleaning up after dinner at this event and other Longer Tables events, as well as dozens of events across the city. With the Waste No More ordinance in effect, Scraps ensures that events like these provide the now required access to composting and recycling, with a trained team and robust approach to zero-waste event services that guarantees effective waste diversion. As Tim says, we make it easy for them to adhere to these ordinance requirements; he doesn’t have to worry about the waste and can focus on his passion: connecting people. 

We are thrilled to support  Longer Tables in its wonderful efforts, and we hope to see you at a future table!


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