In possibly the largest bake sale in the city’s calendar, Jamaica Plain’s Community Servings is selling Thanksgiving pies to fund its food distribution program, and JP businesses are lending a hand.
“Everybody needs a pie at Thanksgiving, everybody needs to feel like they’re connected to their community,” said Tim Leahy, a Community Servings spokesperson. “Plus, most of us don’t know how to bake anymore, or don’t have the time. Everybody wins.”
A $25 pie for Thanksgiving might sound expensive, but Community Servings’ annual fund-raiser faces great demand—each pie is donated by one of over 150 restaurants, hotels, caterers and bakeries in the Greater Boston area. The $25 provides an entire week’s worth of home-delivered meals to people too ill to provide for themselves.
“One hundred and fifty chefs make pies, but you don’t know who made yours until you open it,” Leahy said. “We get a tremendous amount of effort in the Boston area for this sale.”
In 1993, Community Servings CEO David Waters, came up with the idea of pies, Leahy said. They were “overwhelmed with demand” for around 1,000 pies, “and it’s been that way ever since,” he continued.
This year, their 19th, they will sell more than 13,000 apple, pecan, pumpkin and sweet potato pies, 600 to 800 of which will end up in JP. Over 500 volunteer pie-sellers work throughout the fall to sell, organize and distribute the pies all over the eastern part of the state.
“Every year we’re in awe at the response from the community,” Leahy said. “JP likes pie! What’s not to like?”
“There’s this one group of church ladies in Dorchester that makes sweet potato pies. If you know, you want to try and get your pie from them,” Leahy said. “But those are the only home-baked pies.”
Aside from Community Servings headquarters at 18 Marbury Terrace, JP residents can collect their pies at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 713 Centre St. and at Mike’s Fitness gym at 284 Amory St.
“The clients here are really good. They love to support it,” said Mike’s Fitness Manager Mike Cuellar. “We’ve been doing it for a couple of years. All those [hungry] families get something out of it, and it’s fun.”
“It’s a way for them to connect with the community,” Leahy said. “It’s a big pick-up location. I think [last year] they had 200 pies there.”
“Plus, it’s a reward for all your hard work [in the gym],” Leahy said.
Mike’s Fitness is hosting a pie sale day Nov. 19.
Pies can be ordered by turning in a paper order form, by visiting pieinthesky.org or by calling 617-522-7777. They will be available for pick-up Nov. 23, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.