Aug 21, 2014

Parish teens prepare and serve a meal for needy at Kate’s Kitchen



(Photos courtesy of St. Patrick Parish, South Hadley)

By Sharon Roulier

SPRINGFIELD – A group of teens from St. Patrick Parish in South Hadley recently shopped for, prepared and served a meal at Kate’s Kitchen in Holyoke.

The 10 young people went to the grocery store and bought enough chicken, stuffing, mushroom soup and green beans to prepare a “Cursillo Chicken Casserole” for 125 people. They then “donned their aprons and hairnets and did everything from start to finish,” said Judy Dorsett, a parishioner of St. Patrick’s who volunteers monthly to cook meals for Kate’s Kitchen.

Cole Pettengil, 17, a senior at South Hadley High School, said all the kids pitched in together to prepare the meal, cutting the chicken and mixing the stuffing. “It was really fun and a good experience,” he said. “We all worked together.”

“I’m so proud of the kids,” says Dorsett, noting that the group prepared the entrée in the parish kitchen and then brought it to Kate’s Kitchen in time for the Aug. 12 noon meal. They then took part in serving the meal.

Serving the meal to the hungry who came to the kitchen that day “put everything into perspective for us,” says Pettengil. “We realized how fortunate we were.”

“It makes you think about how small your problems are compared to others,” he said.

“It was impressive for me to see such wonderful young people give of themselves during the summer,” said Sister of St. Joseph Cathy Ormond, pastoral minister at St. Patrick’s.

St. Patrick’s has been providing three lunches each month to Kate’s Kitchen, with some 35 parishioners volunteering their services. But, she said, this is the first time they have gotten young people involved in the program.

Kate’s Kitchen is a daily noontime food program providing a hot nutritious meal to those in need. Since 1980, the kitchen has been open 365 days a year, providing about 150 meals per day.  Since its inception, Kate’s Kitchen has served more than 1 million meals.

This service, operated by the Sisters of Providence-sponsored Providence Ministries, depends heavily on donations and community sponsorship.

For more information on Providence Ministries, log onto