Taconic High School business teacher Heather McNeice has a goal of spreading holiday hope to 1,000 Pittsfield families, one meal at a time.
When restaurant dining rooms in Pittsfield were abruptly shut down on Nov. 13 due to a spike in COVID cases, McNeice set to work organizing a two-for-one fundraiser that supports both restaurants and residents of Pittsfield.
Although in-person dining has resumed with increased restrictions, restaurants continue to struggle through the pandemic. In addition, many of the families in Pittsfield are in need of assistance due to the overall economic impacts of COVID. The proposed project would support both groups by raising money to pay restaurants to provide holiday dinners for Pittsfield families.
McNeice's goal is to raise $20,000 by Sunday, providing much-needed income for the restaurants and a delicious holiday meal for the families.
Participating restaurants include Patrick’s Pub, Zucchini’s, Roasted Garlic, The Hot Dog Ranch, Mazzeo’s, Otto’s, and The Highland. All Pittsfield restaurants affected by in-person dining restrictions are still welcome to join. The funds raised will be split evenly among participating restaurants who are then responsible for distributing meals to Pittsfield nonprofit organizations. All restaurants will provide a family-style meal of chicken parmesan, pasta and salad.
Local nonprofit agencies will identify families to receive a holiday dinner. Orders will be divided among restaurants who will fill orders and deliver to those agencies. Meals will then be directly distributed to Pittsfield families through each agency on Dec. 23. This process will ensure the privacy of each family as well as effective communication and distribution to each family in need.
Agencies involved include, but are not limited to, The Boys & Girls Club, Elizabeth Freeman Center and Department of Children and Families.
The cost is $20 to donate a dinner for family of two, $30 for a family of four, and $40 for a family of six. Donations are being accepted through GoFundMe (gf.me/u/zamrw4) and Venmo (venmo.com/Heather-AugeMcNeice).