Hot Meals: Salesian Boys & Girls Club Dinner Program Is a Success

Back in February before COVID, the Shah Family Foundation (SFF) partnered with the Salesian Boys & Girls Club to revamp the club’s kitchen. The SFF outfitted the Boys & Girls Club’s kitchen on Byron Street with Welbilt ovens that can not only reheat, but cook and steam fresh foods.

At the time, the Boys & Girls Club served  more than 130 meals at the club each day the new kitchen allowed the Salesian to prepare hot, freshly cooked meals. An added bonus was the meals were being prepared daily by Cunard’s Executive Chef and former Boys & Girls member Anthony Pino. However, the pandemic cut down the Salesian afterschool and annual summer camp enrollment numbers in order to safely practice social distancing.

Members of the Salesian Boys & Girls Club’s After School program helping to prepare bags with pasta, sauce, hams, vegetables, etc. for families to enjoy over the holidays. Funding made possible by a Boston Resiliency Fund grant.

While the Boys & Girls Club may not be serving 130 meals in house as the pandemic continues, they are still able to feed all club members thanks to a recent Boston Resiliency Fund grant. The Boys & Girls Club received the grant from the Boston Resiliency Fund to run a ten-week dinner program for club members and their families to enjoy at home.

  A hot nutritious delicious meal is prepared by Pino on Wednesday evening to help families prevent food insecurity. “Since the Club was closed for the holidays, bags of food were provided so families would not be without a meal last Wednesday evening along with extras to help families prepare for their holiday meal,” said Salesian Executive Director Michael Triant. “The food packages were made available with funds provided from the Boston Resiliency Grant.

We are sincerely grateful to the Boston Resiliency fund for their hard work and generosity in providing needed resources for the children and families in our community during this very challenging time.” Triant said Pino was a Club kid and staff member while attending Savio Prep and Johnson & Wales University. “He’s brought his amazing talent back home and our kids are the winners,” he said. Pino said he will go to the club each Wednesday before heading to his regular shop at the Cunard at 4 p.m.

Pino will prepare all the food for the day and Salesian staff will simply use the new kitchen equipment provided by the SFF to reheat and distribute the meals to Club members so they can enjoy the food at home. “I grew up going to and working at the Salesian in high school and college,” said Pino. “It’s pretty cool being back in the building a few hours a week and seeing the smiles on the kids faces again.”

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