Working Together to Feed Families
Michael Pillarella, CEC
President, ACF Cape Cod and the Islands
With current restrictions imposed by the coronavirus outbreak, many Cape Cod residents in the hospitality industry find themselves laid off and without income. The Cape Cod Culinary Incubator along with Chef Jeni Wheeler (owner of Jeni’s Joy and Chef at Faith Family Kitchen (FFK), a ministry of the Cape Cod Council of Churches) and The American Culinary Federation of Cape Cod and the Islands (ACF) have banded together to help address some of these needs by creating The Cape Cod Family Table Collaborative.
The goal of this venture is to provide delicious and nutritious prepared meals for hospitality industry families in need during this virus shut down; with an emphasis on providing those meals on Fridays to carry people through the weekends when safety net meal services on the Cape are unavailable.
Jeni Wheeler will be coordinating food sourcing via Greater Boston Food Bank as well as food donations from local restaurants. ACF chefs are volunteering their time and expertise in meal planning and preparation, and ACF Cape Cod and Islands Chapter President Michael Pillarella is assisting in coordinating donation logistics and volunteer chef recruitment. With an expected increase in need for this type of meal service, donations of unused produce from area restaurants and trained, skilled labor is a core need to ensure the project’s success.
The Cape Codder resort is donating their kitchen and staff of volunteers to support the effort. North Coast Seafood is donating a refrigerated truck for pickups at the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Meal distribution is being coordinated by the Cape Cod Kids Meals program, another frequent ACF Cape Cod partner. Families can pick up dinners from 4-6pm on Fridays at one of their four, established distribution sites in Barnstable:
Barnstable Intermediate School, 895 Falmouth Road, Hyannis
Barnstable United Elementary School, 730 Osterville-W. Barnstable Rd, Marston Mills
Hyannis West Elementary School, 549 West Main Street, Hyannis
Hyannis Youth and Community Center, 141 Bassett Ln, Hyannis
Currently, the goal is to create 500 half tray meals and 500 quarts of soup each Friday – the equivalent of 5,000 meals.
As the program evolves and we take stock of demand, we expect to be using more area restaurant kitchens for prep and cooking.
If you are interested in helping in any way possible, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Together we can do big things.
Read the article and find our more about ACF Cape Cod and the Islands here!