The Coyle and Cassidy High School Food Pantry provides approximately three hundred bags of groceries on a monthly basis to families in the Taunton area. This school sponsored outreach effort offers consistent support to families throughout the city while at the same time making our school’s motto ENTER TO LEARN - LEAVE TO SERVE a reality.
Although the entire school community supports the food pantry in one way or another, the simple fact that it happens month after month is due to leadership of the student coordinators and a core group of active student volunteers. The student volunteers raise the necessary funds, stock shelves, bag groceries, and greet the families at the monthly distribution in our school’s foyer. The mission and philosophy of the food pantry is to help feed families with compassion and respect. This is accomplished in so any ways because of the generosity and enthusiasm of the student volunteers.
In October 2009, the Coyle and Cassidy High School Food Pantry completes its seventeenth year of helping to feed families in the Taunton community. The student volunteers meet weekly and the grocery distribution takes place in the school’s foyer on the last Saturday of the month throughout the year. Emergency referrals from local and state agencies are responded to throughout the year.
For questions, contributions or concerns please contact:
Mr. Michael Cote
Director of Community Service
Coyle and Cassidy High School
2 Hamilton Street
Taunton, MA 02780
Thomas Percy of Percy, Tedeschi & Associates presenting a check to Dr. Mary Pat Tranter, Coyle and Cassidy High School's president, in support of the school's monthly food pantry. Dr. Tranter expressed her appreciation for Mr. Percy's concern and interest in CC's food pantry program.
Coyle and Cassidy High School Food Pantry Receives Nally Award from the Greater Boston Food Bank
The Coyle and Cassidy High School Pantry has been awarded the fifth annual Nally Award from the Greater Boston Food Bank. The award recognizes outstanding young volunteers in eastern Massachusetts who are taking action against hunger. It was named for Dan and Betsy Nally, a brother and sister from Westwood, who began an annual Turkey drive 13 years ago so that needy families would have a turkey on Thanksgiving.
Student volunteers from Coyle and Cassidy’s Food Pantry, received the award at an appreciation luncheon at The Westin Copley Plaza on October 10th. They were accompanied by Coyle and Cassidy President Dr. Mary Pat Tranter, Food Pantry Director Michael Cote, and faculty volunteer Christina Burgmyer.
Cote said this award is probably the highest and most meaningful commendation especially from the perspective of the students because “they’re being recognized by young people with an award that is specifically designed for young people who are involved in the fight against hunger in Massachusetts.”
Cote said the Nally’s were impressed with the dedication and longevity of the 16 year old Food Pantry. “They commented on the fact that volunteers function throughout the summer months, and they couldn’t believe the number of volunteers involved.” This year’s membership has soared to a record 108 volunteers.
C-C sophomore Benjamin Williams of Bridgewater, was impressed with meeting Dan and Betsy Nally for whom the award was named, and who are now college students.
“They seemed really impressed with us which is a great honor seeing how much they’ve done for service,” said Williams. Sophomore Ian Phillips of Taunton explained that the Coyle and Cassidy Food Pantry is about more than awards: “It’s always great to get an award…but, it’s constantly about helping the community. It is great that the volunteers of the Food Pantry were acknowledged for all their hard work.” According to student volunteer Jacqueline Bergus, a junior from Dighton, the Food Pantry, despite the tough economy will continue to help people: “Families need our help now more than ever. It’s about making a difference in your community and helping people.”
At the awards luncheon, the audience was reminded of the severity of the nation’s economic woes and its impact on the organizations that serve the needy of Massachusetts. Cote has first hand knowledge of the issue. He has seen the price of peanut butter alone rise three times in the past six months. However, he is not concerned with the future of the Food Pantry because of intensified plans to secure more outside assistance.
The Nally Award comes on the heels of an $8,000 grant from Project Bread and a $2,000 contribution from Taunton Attorney Thomas Percy in the same week.
Cote’s biggest concern, however, is for the people the Food Pantry serves: “My main concern is for the plight of the individual, for the family, and what’s going on that saddens them and keeps them from realizing the goodness that life has to offer, because of some real financial obstacles as simple as the necessity of feeding one’s family.”
Cote referred to the friendly relationship and Catholicism as factors in the School’s Food Pantry success.
“What we do on that last Saturday of the month is simply offer a little bit of help with realistic understanding and goals, but with a sincere love in our hearts that we just want to help people out,” he said. “This is interwoven with our educational system which is first and foremost a Catholic high school, which speaks volumes about why we should be doing this anyway.”
Cote said that it is nice to know what the Food Pantry gives in terms of food resources, but that is easily surpassed by the gentleness, smiles, and warmth of the individual student volunteers.
“You can do a lot of good things,” said Cote, “but to do them with a really good loving attitude is a whole other question.”