Thanksgiving meals being provided for Merrimack Valley gas victims

LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - As generators line the streets and parks of Lawrence, the community is preparing for a bitter cold Thanksgiving — still without gas or heat for some.

“It’s like the sun is over there and the whole winter is over here,” said Lawrence resident Jose Calcano. “That’s how it feels, basically.”

But that’s where Lawrence native Joe Faro and Tuscan Brands come in.

He says he couldn’t say no when he was asked to help cook and distribute as many as 25,000 Thanksgiving dinners — turkey, sides, and dessert — to those displaced by the disaster back in September.

“We’ll remember this for a long, long time,” Faro said. “It’s great to see the community band together for a common goal.”

Columbia Gas is paying for all the food and labor, and Faro’s team is offering sit-down buffets or take-home dinners.

“It’s quite an undertaking,” he said. “I know everybody wishes it was behind them at this point, but they’re all coming together to make it happen as best they can.”

“I think they’re doing what they can do,” said Lawrence resident Gary Hilliard. “A mistake happened. I’m not gonna be too hard on them about it. Things happen in life.”

Faro says many of his employees live in Lawrence and have been affected by the gas explosions.

“They’ll be at the drop zones too,” Faro said. “Picking up the Thanksgiving meals. Right after they cook them.”

The meals will be available for pre-registered residents at three locations throughout the Merrimack Valley.

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