January 24, 2019
 
Nonprofits Raise Funds, Deliver Dinners to Help People in Need

November 23, 2018 — Community Servings, a Jamaica Plain nonprofit that delivers meals to disadvantaged, critically ill patients throughout Massachusetts, yesterday reported it raised $760,000 through its annual pie selling event to support its ongoing mission, while the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, a Springfield nonprofit, provided 550 turkey dinners to area agencies.

Community Servings said its 26th annual Pie in the Sky fundraiser was supported by 9,400 people who bought 22,000 pies that were donated by 110 businesses.

"With the purchase of each pie, we're able to feed one of our 2,300 critically ill clients struggling with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses for a week. Thanks to you, they don't have to face hunger and sickness alone during the holidays, or any other day of the year," noted David B. Waters, chief executive officer of Community Servings in an email thanking supporters.

Each apple, pecan, pumpkin, or sweet potato pie, which sold for $30, provides a week’s worth of nutritious meals for a neighbor who is too sick to shop or cook for themselves or their families.

More than 550 volunteers sold pies throughout Massachusetts this year, and more than 100 businesses served as pie pick-up locations located from Newburyport to Duxbury to Worcester.

Last year, the organization reported raising $800,000 through the same event, an increase from $748,000 the year before.

The event, promoted as "more than a fundraiser," is designed to foster "community spirit by bringing together more than 20,000 people throughout Greater Boston – including bakers, pies sellers, volunteers, donors, and sponsors to create the 'World’s Greatest Bake Sale' in support of Community Servings’ food and nutrition program."

Pie in the Sky has grown from a grassroots bake sale fundraiser to Community Servings' largest fundraiser, and has raised more than $9.3 million since its inception in 1993. The organization reports that more than 90 cents of every dollar raised supports nutritious meals to individuals in Massachusetts who are battling HIV/AIDS, cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and other devastating illnesses.

Sponsors this year included Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares, Digitas, Scrubadub, Moes' Early Morning Crew, New Balance Foundation, Red Sox Foundation, Tara Grecco, Ligris, and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.

Rachel’s Table Delivers 550 Turkey Dinners to Springfield Area Agencies

The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts in Springfield, reported that it provided 550 turkey dinners—turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, vegetables, rolls, cranberry sauce, and pies—in the days before Thanksgiving to area food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens, through its Rachel's Table initiative.

Sarah Monto Maniaci, associate director of the federation, noted, "Thanksgiving can be a stressful and challenging time. Last year, Rachel’s Table provided more than 300 Thanksgiving dinners. This year, the need is even greater."

Agencies served included Gray House, Open Pantry, Kate’s Kitchen, the Center for Human Development, LaVoz, Tapestry Health, Community Survival Center, and the Ronald McDonald House.

Rachel's Table, established in 1992, relies on more than 200 volunteers to collect food six days a week from local supermarkets, restaurants, caterers, and bakeries, and deliver it to more than 40 agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters.

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