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The Pittsfield Education Foundation has had to switch its popular wine-tasting fundraiser to a more pandemic suitable takeout event. Purchasing a 'Nosh Box' raises funds for Pittsfield Public School programs.

'Nosh Box' Takeout Fundraiser Supports Pittsfield Schools

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local educational organization is supporting Pittsfield schools with tasty bites that can be enjoyed in the comfort of home.

The Pittsfield Education Foundation is hosting a takeout-to-donate event called "Food for Thought" to benefit students and teachers of the Pittsfield Public Schools. This is the organization's fourth annual fundraising event and it has a goal of raising $10,000.

Participants will be able to order a "Nosh Box" for $40 from KJ Nosh catering containing a dinner for two with an assortment of hors d'oeuvres prepared by chef Mike Mongeon.

"The funding we raise supports different efforts that the Pittsfield Education Foundation focuses on," board member Tim Coe said. "The Pittsfield Education Foundation is not affiliated with the Pittsfield Public Schools, organization, but we're supporters of students in Pittsfield Public Schools, what we raise will go towards primarily teacher-requested grants for programming for programs and curriculum that enhances the educational outcomes of students, in both individuals and students in classes to enhance their educational outcomes and experiences with programs that are not funded by the district's budget."

The Nosh Boxes can be ordered through Sunday, May 9, for pickup on Friday, May 14. This event has been tailored to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the PEF previously supported the schools by hosting wine tasting fundraising events.

About 90 percent of the proceeds will be donated, Coe said, because the volunteer board's overhead costs are small.

The group was founded in 2017 by Julie Pellerin-Herrera and Kimberlee Chappell. It is comprised of local educators and community activists who understood the challenges facing Pittsfield Public Schools. As the largest municipality in Berkshire County, Pittsfield has been dealing with lagging economic development and population shifts that affect the school system's budget and delivery of education to more than 5,000 students, said foundation officials.

Of those students, a large number of children are from low-income families. Twenty-five percent of Pittsfield students are federally classified for Title I, a federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act that provides financial assistance to districts and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help meet state academic standards.

When PEF first began, it was looking at tutoring programs but has expanded its goals over time.

Recently, the foundation provided transportation for a group of students to attend a conference about systematic racism within educational systems and about bullying.  At this event, they learned how to address racism and bullying with peers or in the classroom and became mediators within their schools.

It has also sponsored programs that assist children with attention deficit disorders and that aids teachers with conversational Spanish so they can better communicate during parent-teacher conferences.

For the first time, the foundation is launching a scholarship that will aid one senior from Taconic and one from Pittsfield High School with $1,000.  Scholarships will awarded in the next couple of weeks.

"We do try to focus on children who are what we would categorize as at-risk," Coe said. "The children that tend to struggle the most, whether it's with a learning disability, or due to socio-economic issues, we really try to focus on hitting that broad kind of student group and, of course, we try to aim our funds to focus on the greatest impact that it can have on the most students, but sometimes we also sponsor individualized requests."

Coe said the board has a member position open and is actively trying to fill it. There are currently nine members who meet monthly.

Coe's son, Ethan Coe, is also a member of the panel.

"We tend to have different specialties," he said. "So, I'm more focused on fundraising, Ethan's more focused on the marketing, and we have others that are more focused on managing specific programs."

Those who purchase a Nosh Box can pick them up at KJ Nosh at 339 Tyler St. on Friday, May 14, between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.  Participants are asked to wear a mask.

Nosh Box 1
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Cajun Shrimp
  • Beef Teriyaki Satay
  • Thai Peanut Chicken Satay
  • Goat Cheese & Zucchini Timbale
  • Garlic & Rosemary Crostini
  • Imported Cheeses
  • Roasted Vegetable Crudité
  • Cured Italian Meat
Nosh Box 2 (vegetarian)
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  • Curried Sweet Potato Kebab
  • Candied Rainbow Beets
  • Goat Cheese & Zucchini Timbale
  • Mini Falafel Bites w/ Dill Yogurt
  • Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese Moose
  • Garlic & Chili Cured Olives
  • Imported Cheeses

Tags: fundraiser,   pittsfield schools,   

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