As donations continue to roll in for the Christ the King food pantry. Michael Vining, who kicked off efforts to raise $100,000 for local COVID-19 relief efforts, has dedicated the fundraiser to the late John T. Callahan Jr. of Mashpee.
“Jack Callahan moved in next to me on James Circle in Mashpee and he had been a neighbor and a very, very close friend for many years,” Mr. Vining said of Mr. Callahan, who died at age 90 on March 29. He encourages donations to be made in Mr. Callahan’s honor.
Mr. Vining estimated that donations in the excess of $35,000 have been made since he donated $10,000 to the food pantry on April 9 to kick off the fundraising efforts. Donations have been made to both the food bank operated by the Parish of Christ the King and the Food4Vets program, he said.
Carl Cavossa of Cavossa Companies, Paul Lorusso of Lorusso Heavy Equipment, David Fuccillo of Fuccillo Ready Mix Inc., David Pina of Pina Sanitation and Robert Maffei of Maffei Companies are among those who have already donated, Mr. Vining said.
Richard J. Reilly, the manager of the Christ the King food pantry, said that “we’re getting donations almost every day” and that the pantry is serving about 85 families per week. Prior to the COVID-19 health crisis the pantry served about 60 families and the number of families making use of the bank could continue to increase, he said.
With the increased number of families being served, Mr. Reilly said, closer to $2,000 per week has been spent on food from the Greater Boston Food Bank, up from about $1,000 per week spent prior to the economic and health crisis.
The pantry pays about ten cents on the dollar for food purchased from the Greater Boston Food Bank, Mr. Reilly said.
Gift cards to local restaurants, which have been donated to the food pantry, have been “a nice little bonus” for those the pantry serves, he said. The gift cards also help support the local businesses as they cope with restrictions in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Mr. Reilly said that the food bank has seen a $10,000 donation from the Mashpee Pops, a $5,000 donation from the Mashpee Commons and small donations totaling more than $2,500 from local residents.
Bleu, a restaurant in Mashpee Commons, also donated 80 quarts of clam chowder to the pantry this past week, Mr. Reilly said.
The soup and bread was provided to the families who waited in their cars out back the Christ the King parish hall on a Wednesday morning in what Mr. Reilly described as “nasty” weather.
About 20 people operate the food pantry, down from the normal 45 or 50 in an effort to reduce contact, Mr. Reilly said. The pantry operates as a drive-thru on Wednesday mornings and can be contacted at 508-477-7700.
Checks for the Parish of Christ the King food pantry can be made out to CTK food pantry. The pantry is not accepting most food donations at present due to the health crisis but will take cash or gift cards.
Donations to Food4Vets can be made through the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation Facebook page.
Mr. Vining said those making donations in the name of Mr. Callahan should indicate so in the memo section of the check. Mr. Callahan, who Mr. Vining described as “strong as an ox” and “a great neighbor,” founded the construction company, John T. Callahan and Sons.
The business, which is still operating, became one of New England’s largest construction companies.