City’s soup kitchen board tabs of­fi­cers

Pawtucket Times - - FRONT PAGE - By JONATHAN BIS­SON­NETTE jbis­son­nette@paw­tuck­et­

PAW­TUCKET — As a life­long city res­i­dent who spent more than 35 years work­ing his way through the Po­lice De­part­ment be­fore his re­tire­ment in 2010, for­mer Po­lice Chief Ge­orge Kelley III says that Paw­tucket has been good to him and be­ing a mem­ber of the Paw­tucket Soup Kitchen Board of Di­rec­tors is his way of giv­ing back to the city.

Kelley dur­ing the board's Jan. 21 meet­ing was elected as pres­i­dent for 2017. A board mem­ber since 2012, Kelley was

past pres­i­dent in 2015 and also served two years as vice pres­i­dent, in 2014 and 2016.

He said that since 2010, the Soup Kitchen has served nearly 200,000 din­ners.

“That's what we do,” Kelley said. “We're there for the peo­ple. There's ob­vi­ously a need for it. We see peo­ple com­ing in ev­ery­day, morn­ing and af­ter­noon. As long as peo­ple need it, we'll be there.”

“That would be the day when ev­ery­body can sit down and eat,” with­out the as­sis­tance of the Soup Kitchen “but it doesn't seem like it's hap­pen­ing,” Kelley later said.

Join­ing Kelley as elected of­fi­cers on the soup kitchen’s board were Vice Pres­i­dent Joseph Keough, Sec­re­tary Mary Turillo, Trea­surer Mon­ica San­tos, and As­so­ciate Trea­surer Michael Reis. Also dur­ing the Jan. 21 board meet­ing, AtLarge Board mem­bers who were elected in­cluded Mary Bray, Ray­mond Gan­non, Lau­reen Gre­bien, Pa­tri­cia Martinez, Arthur Martins, Larry Monastesse, and Michael Tam­burro.

“We've got a fan­tas­tic board,” Kelley said. “Ev­ery­one brings some­thing to the ta­ble that helps the kitchen … It's with all these peo­ple here that we're able to get a lot of things done.”

Kelley suc­ceeds Keough as board pres­i­dent. Keough was pres­i­dent in 2016 but had to take time away af­ter un­der­go­ing surgery and upon his re­turn, he felt that Kelley per­formed so well that he should con­tinue as pres­i­dent.

Keough, a 75-year-old city res­i­dent and re­tired Superior Court judge, said that the soup kitchen in 2016 fed 40,000 peo­ple and he ex­pects to ex­ceed that num­ber this year, as the need ap­pears greater than it has been in years past due to the is­sues that the state is cur­rently fac­ing in pro­vid­ing food stamps to peo­ple.

“We've no­ticed an in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple com­ing to the soup kitchen,” he said. “What we're able to of­fer, the main thing we want to fol­low through on is that they get fed, if we are able and successful, nat­u­rally it's re­ward­ing to do that.”

Keough said that as a re­tired judge who has been a life­long Paw­tucket res­i­dent, be­ing able to as­sist those less for­tu­nate has been some­thing that fills him with pride.

“It's great to be able to par­tic­i­pate and do some­thing like this … This keeps me busy and keeps me in­volved in the city,” he said.

Soup Kitchen Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Adri­enne Marchetti said that she thinks Kelley and Keough are “both ex­cel­lent, ex­cel­lent peo­ple. They have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence … I feel we're get­ting to a re­ally good place.”

“These are all peo­ple who have ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in pub­lic ser­vice and I think this is a good thing for us … We wish them well as they as­sume their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and wel­come the tal­ents and skills they bring to the board,” Marchetti said.

Kelley said that the Soup Kitchen has a “fan­tas­tic di­rec­tor” in Marchetti, say­ing “she pretty much knows ev­ery­body that

comes through the line. She's taken it upon her­self to take Span­ish lessons, it's just one big fam­ily. They need us and we're happy that we can be there to serve them.”

Keough said that he feels that he and Kelley make a “great team,” say­ing that Kelley has “done such an out­stand­ing job” in the city. As for Marchetti, Keough also called her “out­stand­ing.”

“I don't know how she ac­com­plishes and gets done all that she gets done with the cook­ing and food prepa­ra­tion,” he said. “She's out­stand­ing. I don't know what we'd do if we lost her. She knows a lot of peo­ple who come in and knows them by name, she's just a warm and won­der­ful per­son.”

With 2017 rep­re­sent­ing the 25th year of the Soup Kitchen's ex­is­tence, Kelley said it will be im­por­tant to play up the kitchen's his­tory and its role in the city. He said that he wants to “do some­thing special” dur­ing the an­nual din­ner in Oc­to­ber.

The soup kitchen, lo­cated at 195 Wal­cott St., serves break­fast Mon­day through Fri­day from 7:30 to 8 a.m., din­ner Mon­day through Fri­day from 5 to 5:30 p.m., and brunch on Satur­day from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Ad­di­tion­ally, through its out­reach pro­gram, the soup kitchen pro­vides a hot meal daily to all guests of the St. Paul’s Epis­co­pal Church Home­less Shel­ter, lunch Mon­day through Fri­day to the clients at AC­CESS-RI, and col­lab­o­rates monthly with Holy Fam­ily Par­ish on the Bread­line Pro­gram.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Eva Mat­tos, of Prov­i­dence, takes part in the Ro­bot Chal­lenge.

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