Once the decision was made to cancel the party due to restrictions on social gatherings imposed by the coronavirus, club members opted to donate the funds to the soup kitchen rather than recoup what they had spent on tickets for the banquet, according to Susan Mosser, program chairman for the Greater Lynn Photographic Association.
"I thought this would be a good idea to give back to the community that is in such need in Lynn," said Mosser. "Feeding 500 people a day is a lot of food they have to come up with. We thought this would be a good thing to give back to the community."
Mosser said she got turned onto the idea after watching a television news broadcast about a couple who had decided to donate the food that would have been served at their canceled wedding to a local soup kitchen.
She said about $1,900 was left over at Spinelli's, which the restaurant used to cook enough chicken parmesan to feed 480 people at My Brother's Table. The Lynn-based soup kitchen had decided upon that particular meal because it was easier to put in to-go boxes, Mosser said.
The photo club kicked in another $300 to purchase cookies for 480 people, which were included with the meal, Mosser said. Club members delivered the food to My Brother's Table this past Wednesday, which was packaged for that night's dinner.
"It's super thoughtful of them," said Dianne Kuzia Hills, executive director of My Brother's Table. "It's not what they do. They do photography, but I think what we're seeing through this whole crisis is there are folks who are reaching out from all different corners of the community to help out.
"It was very thoughtful of them and helped us serve a delicious meal to people here. It was great."
Hills said My Brother's Table, which has significantly increased its meal distribution during the pandemic, is serving about 3,000 meals a day, which includes what is served out of the dining room and the families who take the food home.
With such a high demand, Hills said donations from individuals and groups like the photo club are greatly appreciated.
"Every day it's hard because we have to produce so many meals," said Hills. "Every day, there's just some kind gesture that some group or individual makes that has given me so much hope for humanity and reminds me again what a great community Lynn is that folks are just so thoughtful and generous."