HCN News & Notes

AIC Men’s Baseball Team Hits Home Run for Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen

SPRINGFIELD — The American International College (AIC) men’s baseball community outreach committee delivered just under 400 pounds of food to Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen in Chicopee to help stock the pantry shelves during the holiday season.

Junior on the field and graduate student Jason Coscio, committee chairperson, along with teammates Jose Hernandez, Andrew Gould, and Matthew Costanza, were accompanied by Head Coach Nick Callini and Assistant Coach Tyler Gauthier in making the holiday delivery the day before final exams began at the college.

“We knew we wanted to do a canned food drive and selected Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen,” Coscio said. “It’s important to give back during the holidays when families need it most. We also wanted to help the local community.”

Added Callini, “this drive was selected for a variety of reasons. We wanted to engage the school and the community. It is one of the first events they’ve had as a team. Earlier this fall, men’s baseball team members were part of AIC’s Action in the Community Day in which we assisted our campus neighbors who needed extra help with fall cleanup. The entire team pitched in. This is also an opportunity for student-athletes to develop leadership skills, as in the case of Jason, who served as committee chairperson. He is learning skills that will be important as he enters the workforce. We hope that our outreach efforts will serve as a model and encourage other teams and students to get involved.”

Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen serves 12{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of Chicopee’s population, helping 6,500 people each year. In addition to meal and food pantry services five days a week, the agency provides social services on a regular basis, and a free health clinic with visiting nurses once a month. Lorraine’s Kitchen also hosts Christmas dinner with gifts for children.

“It’s great to see young people get involved with the kitchen,” Executive Director Andrea Marion said. “For us, it’s so helpful in taking the burden off of us as we fight food insecurity, especially around this time of year, to get food out to the community. Expenses go up, and more people come to the pantry for help.”