Bath Beach

Kiwanis Club donates Thanksgiving turkeys to food pantry

November 22, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Michael Diaco (left), a member of the 86th Street Bath Beach Kiwanis Club, came to Reaching-Out Community Services Inc. on Tuesday to meet Executive Director Thomas Neve and to make sure the turkeys the club was donating arrived in time for Thanksgiving. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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A group of business leaders in Bensonhurst and Bath Beach is making sure Thanksgiving will be a special holiday for low-income residents who can’t afford the turkey and all of the trimmings.

Members of the 86th Street Bath Beach Kiwanis Club, led by President Stephen Spinelli, a lawyer, donated more than two dozen turkeys to Reaching-Out Community Services Inc., a nonprofit organization that assists Brooklyn residents who have hit hard times and are having trouble making ends meet.

Executive Director Thomas Neve and his staff of volunteers operate a food pantry out of Reaching-Out’s headquarters at 7708 New Utrecht Ave.

On Tuesday, Kiwanis Club member Michael Diaco, a vice president at J.P. Morgan Chase, came to the food pantry to meet with Neve and oversee the delivery of a second batch of turkeys.

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The Kiwanians arranged for frozen turkeys to be delivered to the New Utrecht Avenue pantry on Monday and Tuesday. “They have been doing this for years,” Diaco said, referring to the Kiwanis Club.

The Kiwanis Club is an international service organization composed of business leaders who work on various charitable projects to improve the lives of the less fortunate.

On Tuesday, Reaching-Out received a delivery courtesy of Pat Genuso, owner of Coast to Coast Wholesale Seafood and Meats, a Staten Island-based company that has been donating turkeys to the food pantry for 10 years in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club.

A day earlier, Kiwanis Club member Walter Ochoa, owner of Right at Home, a firm that provides home care for the elderly, arranged for turkeys to be brought to Reaching-Out’s headquarters.

“It means a lot to get these donations,” Neve told the Brooklyn Eagle. “We have over 8,000 families registered in our organization. We like to give our clients food all through the year, but we don’t want to forget them at Thanksgiving. We work to make sure an extra event like Thanksgiving is something they can still celebrate.”

Reaching-Out not only distributes turkeys to its clients, it also provides all of the trimmings, Neve said.

Neve, a retired sanitation worker, started Reaching-Out Community Services 25 years ago and has seen the number of families needing help steadily rise over the years.

Neve and his staff screen potential clients to make sure they truly are in need of assistance.

For more information on Reaching-Out, visit


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