Fall River parishes, schools collect 150
food baskets and turkeys for needy

By Dave Jolivet

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Every year the plight of the homeless and hungry in our diocese seems to be magnified because of the rapidly approaching joyful seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas.


What for many is a time of feasting and fellowship seems no different than any other day of hopelessness for those without adequate shelter and subsistence.

While those without feel the sting of hunger and cold with seemingly no way out, there are those who have not forgotten the struggles of less fortunate brothers and sisters around them.

Dorothy Mahoney-Pacheco is a teacher at Holy Trinity School in Fall River and is also the director of Faith Formation at Holy Name Parish, also in Fall River.

Recently she facilitated a food drive to help the poor and hungry in the Fall River area — not just at one parish/school but at both locations where she is a woman of action.

“The power of one idea brought a school community together to make a difference in the lives of others,” Mahoney-Pacheco told The Anchor. Actually it brought two school communities together.

At Holy Trinity, Mahoney-Pacheco shared that, “We set a goal of collecting enough non-perishable items to assemble 20 food baskets. To go along with the food baskets, we gave families the opportunity to sponsor a turkey because no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a turkey.” 

The Holy Trinity drive far exceeded the goal of 20 baskets. “Little did we know the generosity of our school families would far exceed our greatest expectations,” said Mahoney-Pacheco. “We were blessed with an abundance of both turkeys and non-perishables. This allowed for our middle school students to assemble and personalize 80 complete baskets, turkey and all, far surpassing our initial goal.”

At Holy Name Parish, the Faith Formation students and the students at Holy Name School and the parishioners also collaborated on a food drive there, coordinated by Mahoney-Pacheco.

“We collected enough for 70 baskets and 70 turkeys there,” she told The Anchor. The youth group from Holy Name put the Holy Name baskets together on a Sunday, giving of their free time to further assist those in need.

In all 150 baskets, each with a turkey, were put together and Mahoney-Pacheco delivered them to Citizens for Citizens, Inc. in Fall River to be distributed.

“The experience has allowed the students to gain a sense of empathy while realizing the power they have to truly make an impact one Thanksgiving dinner at a time,” said Mahoney-Pacheco. “We are very thankful to all the families, faculty members, and friends of Holy Trinity and Holy Name that ensured a blessed Thanksgiving for all.”

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