Friday November 30, 2012

It was rightly noted in a recent article in The Berkshire Eagle about Thanksgiving and local volunteers that the holidays do not come easy for our impoverished neighbors. With out hundreds of volunteers and donations of food and funds to support it, the holidays would not come at all.

In early October area food pantries received bad news from the Food Bank of West ern Massachusetts that their supply of turkeys would be limited due to their state emergency food funding being cut in half. This meant we were already operating at a disadvantage. Not to worry -- a caring community to the rescue! Donations of turkeys from individuals, organizations, and also from our faith community did not leave us lacking.

The Christian Center would like to give special thanks to the following. New England Newspapers "Feed Your Mind Feed a Family" program provided The Christian Center with 10 complete Thanksgiving food baskets donated by Stop & Shop. Each year Stop & Shop, Price Chopper, and Kripalu donate generously to our Thanksgiving program. The Berkshire Youth United students at Taconic High School once again collected six complete Thanksgiving food baskets. And one volunteer made festive centerpieces for each dining table that were then raffled off!

We depend on Chef Richard Powers each year to bring everything together in The Christian Center kitchen. This year we called on our good friend, Mickey Soldato, of Zucchini’s Restaurant to cook and carve hundreds of pounds of turkey that we supplied him. He returned them carved to perfection accompanied by his delicious gravy! (note: The Berkshire Eagle article incorrectly reported that he donated the turkeys.) And where would we be without Dr. George Deering who supports our meal program with pork chops throughout the year. Just when we thought we could not eat more turkeyĆ 

Collaborating with area food pantries over many weeks, the community came together distributing nearly 1,000 turkeys and all the fixings from a central location at South Congre gational Church. At The Christian Center on Thanks giving Day hundreds of meals were prepared for home delivery and for serving at The Center.

When families and friends in our community gather together at holiday time, we know we can count on them to include our citizens in need and at-risk children in their prayers of hope for a bountiful year ahead. Thank you to all who took the time to give back this Thanksgiving with their time, talent, and treasure.

ELLEN G. MERRITT

Pittsfield

The writer is executive director of The Christian Center.