Easthampton butcher, Community Center meal-kit ‘nice Italian dinner’

  • Contributed Photo

  • Meat for meals to be given out by the Easthampton Community Center is weighed at Corsello Butcheria. Contributed Photo

  • Meat that will be use in free Italian dinner meal kits given out by the Easthampton Community Center is seen at Corsello Butcheria. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 4/22/2020 7:12:17 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Corsello Butcheria co-owner Vincent Corsello decided that he wanted to do something to help his community. Now, as part of a collaboration with Porter Family Farm and the Easthampton Community Center, people will be able to pick up the makings of a homemade Italian meal at no charge.

The idea of distributing beef in meal packages was the brainchild of Easthampton Community Center Executive Director Robin Bialecki.

“What’s a better comfort meal than just a nice Italian dinner?” Bialecki said.

The meals will be handed out on Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon outside the Easthampton Community Center. The Community Center will be distributing ground beef, ground by Corsello Butcheria, pasta, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, fresh peppers and onions, bread and some form of dessert. Big E’s is making cookies to contribute to the dessert portion.

Although the intention is to provide food for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, “Everybody is welcome,” Corsello said.

“It’s a gift,” he said.

Bialecki and volunteers in masks and gloves, will hand out the food, and Bialecki urges those who turn out to maintain social distancing of six feet or more.

Corsello said he originally reached out to Porter Family Farm in Ashfield to see if they had an animal that he could purchase at a reduced price.

“I thought it was a great idea to do that for the community,” said farmer Josh Porter, whose wife, Anne Porter, is originally from Easthampton.

The farm sold Corsello a whole steer that as of Wednesday was still being processed by Corsello Butcheria into about 300 pounds of grass-fed ground beef, for about 300 meal packages.

“The whole animal ends up getting ground up,” said Corsello, referring to the steer’s edible non-organ meat.

The Easthampton Community Center distributes food to individuals and families from 9 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday.

The Community Center also runs a Kid’s Bag program, which normally provides kids during the summers with a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches and snacks. However, the program has been providing the service year since the schools closed down, and parents can still sign their kids up for it. The program covers any qualifying child ages 18 or below.

“Everybody just needs to know that we’re out there and thinking about them,” Bialecki said. “We’re here and we’re here to help.”

The center can also still use donations to help buy more food, Bialecki said.

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