For 24 years, the South Shore YMCA’s signature fundraiser, The Taste of the South Shore, brings together the area’s premier chefs, restaurants, bakeries, wineries and breweries to generously donate their time and talent to raise money for the Y’s community support programs.
“The Taste” would have been held today at Lombardo’s in Randolph, but due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis, the Y elected to postpone the event until September 23. Now, instead of coming together to serve and support their community at the event, these very same restaurants are suffering. Like other local businesses, they have had to furlough employees, and some are facing closure.
To help these longtime Y supporters, in March, the South Shore YMCA launched a weekly COVID-19 Community Support Challenge to rally the community and raise money to hire these area restaurants to provide warm meals and a bit of joy for the Y’s food pantry participants, emergency shelter guests, isolated seniors in local senior housing, and kids and teachers at the Y’s two emergency childcare centers. The Y is actively seeking donations to the challenge, and funds raised pay local restaurants for meals that will be delivered to people in need.
Today, the Y asked last year’s Taste of the Shore participant Jimmy Liang, President and CEO of the JP Fuji Group and Fuji WoC, to prepare meals for the Quincy YMCA’s temporary emergency shelter. Fuji WoC also prepared meals for children at the South Shore YMCA’s emergency childcare centers, feeding children of essential employees, medical workers and first responders. The meals were paid for by donations from the community received as part of the Y’s challenge.
“This is about supporting our supporters. We recognized this project as an amazing opportunity to help local restaurants while also supporting the Y’s emergency efforts,” said Paul Gorman, President & CEO of the South Shore YMCA. “They need the business, and the Y needs warm meals and financial support for our food pantry, emergency shelter and emergency childcare centers. We are very thankful to Jimmy and Fuji for being a part of this program.”
Mayor Koch paid a visit to the Quincy YMCA temporary shelter, in partnership with Father Bill’s & Mainspring, to thank the South Shore Y, Fuji and other restaurants for stepping up to support the community. “I am extraordinarily grateful for the SSYMCA’s partnership on this important effort to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said the Mayor.
“This is one of the many reasons we have been supporting the South Shore Y for more than a decade and a half. The things that they are doing for the community are amazing,” said Liang. “We have always been proud to support the Y at The Taste of the South Shore. Now, we are thankful that in this time of crisis, the Y and the community are here to support us as we work together to support the people of Quincy.”
The idea for the Y’s COVID-19 Community Support Challenge began with longtime South Shore YMCA supporter and Executive Board Member, Kathie McDonough, saw an opportunity to simultaneously support the region’s most vulnerable people and area restaurants in danger of closing. She offered to pay for 300 meals to be delivered to Germantown Neighborhood Center families.
Since then, other restaurant owners have raised their hands to step up for the challenge, including Frank Ricci of Greenside Grille, Julie and Mark Ellis at The Chef’s Table, Dave Lombardo of Lombardo’s-to-Go, Paul Wahlberg of Wahlburgers and Alma Nove, Brian Houlihan and The Tinker’s Son, and George and Elissa Montilio of Montilio’s Bakery.
“We are grateful to Fuji at West of Chestnut, The Tinker’s Son, Montilio’s, and Wahlburgers and others for preparing delicious meals for our shelter guests over the past month,” said John Yazwinski, President & CEO of Father Bill’s & MainSpring. “We thank the South Shore YMCA for organizing this thoughtful and creative Community Support Challenge, and we appreciate the Y’s partnership in providing this temporary shelter site to help protect our guests and staff during the COVID-19 crisis.”
For more information on the challenge and how you can help the South Shore YMCA, contact Mary Orne, firstname.lastname@example.org , 781-264-9453, or visit ssymca.org/covid19support to support the challenge through a tax-deductible donation.
About the South Shore YMCA
The South Shore YMCA is a leading charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community. Since 1892, the Y has served communities across the South Shore of Massachusetts and beyond, engaging over 60,000 adults, children, families and seniors each day through membership, critical social services, and programs that support a healthy spirit, mind and body. The Y empowers everyone by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from all backgrounds, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections throughout our community. To learn more about the South Shore YMCA and our causes, visit ssymca.org. The Better You Belongs Here.