image description
Mary Rentz, Zack Marcotte, Nichole Dupont, and Mary Wheat at the food pantry on Wednesday for the donation.

Berkshire Money Management Donates $2,500 to Thanksgiving Angels

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Thanksgiving really isn't that far away.
 
At the South Congregational Church, volunteers are already gearing up for the Thanksgiving Angels program, which provides turkeys and all of the sides to thousands of local residents in need. On Wednesday, Berkshire Money Management helped kick off the season with a $2,500 donation.
 
"The week before Thanksgiving people start donating but it takes a long time to organize these events," said Nichole Dupont, community development director for Berkshire Money Management. 
 
Years ago, Berkshire Money Management used to hold its own turkey giveaway and the donation helps carry on that tradition for the company. This year, the investment management firm wanted to get an early start on the giving season.
 
Dupont was joined by financial planner Zack Marcotte to present the check to the program's coordinators Mary Wheat and Mary Rentz.
 
"It shows great community support," Rentz said, adding that the Berkshire Bank Foundation is also expected to donate $2,500. 
 
The program is massive. On the Monday before Thanksgiving nearly every year there have been lines of families overflowing the church and into the parking lot. Rentz said the pantry this year is moving a volunteer station that was in the center of the auditorium where the food was given out and moving it upstairs so more people can fit inside. In the last few years, the weather had been very cold and people were waiting in line.
 
Outside, Rentz said there will be more tents and Berkshire Health Systems and the Salvation Army will be on hand to provide such things as hot cider for those waiting. 
 
"We're going to try to make our guests as comfortable as possible and get them in as quick as possible," she said. 
 
Last year 1,450 households benefited from the free turkeys. This year the group is expecting 1,550. The program has been growing just about every year. 
 
The South Congregational Church asks for people to sign up ahead of time to ensure there is enough for everyone. And with those numbers it becomes costly. Wheat said the turkeys alone will cost between $22,000 and $24,000. 
 
The group said there is always a need for donations to make the program possible and those can be made to the church or online. They will also accept donated turkeys.
 
The church runs both the program and a regular food pantry. Rentz said the pantry serves some 500 families. Wheat said just in Berkshire County there are 34,000 people identified as being in need and countrywide food pantries served 1.9 million pounds of food to close to 1.7 million people. 

Tags: donations,   food pantry,   thanksgiving,   turkeys,   

2 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Dalton COVID Numbers Droppings, Schools Reopened

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

DALTON, Mass. — Over the past two weeks, the town of Dalton has only seen five new cases of COVID-19 and the Board of Health on Monday said case counts are going in a positive direction.

"I think because we are organized with the three large scale vaccination sites for the county, and the public health infrastructure and the health care community collaborated on it, we have been able to get a leg up on other parts of the commonwealth," Berkshire Health Systems Dr. Daniel Doyle reported.

Twenty percent of Berkshire County's population has received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination as of Thursday and around 8 percent have received the second dose. There were more than 3,000 Berkshire County residents vaccinated on Saturday.

The board estimated that the majority of residents over 75 years of age who wish to be vaccinated have been. On Jan. 27, the Dalton Council on Aging began assisting elders without computer or internet access and Director Kelly Pizzi said about 300 people per business day had been helped to secure an appointment. 

Dalton currently utilizes the central Berkshire vaccination site at Berkshire Community College because it would reportedly not be efficient to hold smaller-scale vaccination clinics given the extremely cold storage temperature requirements of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.  

The Pfizer vaccine has to be kept at minus-70 degrees Celsius and the Moderna can be kept slightly warmer.

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories