Winthrop’s Team Player: Driscoll Helps Out in Food Distribution Effort

One year removed from his Super Bowl run as the St. Mary’s football coach, Sean Driscoll is heading a very important team effort in town.

Driscoll, director of the Winthrop Parks and Recreation Department, is doubling up as one of the leaders of the town’s food distribution program during the COVID-19 crisis.

Driscoll has joined forces with Matthew Rhodes of the Winthrop Council on Aging, Amy Gallagher, and Ellen Baxter  – as well as Jeanne Maggio and the Winthrop Medical Reserve Corps – to deliver food items to residents in need.

“We’re all working together on sorting the food and making the deliveries,” said Driscoll.

As the global pandemic has continued, the requests for assistance have increased. The program is providing food to more than 200 residents per day.

“The town has been very generous and we’ve received a lot of donations, but we still need a lot more stuff,” said Driscoll.

Driscoll offered his gratitude to a number of local businesses and donors, including Paul Marks, head of New England’s leading specialty food distributor Paul W. Marks Co. Inc., Muffin Town, Steve Nalen of Courtyard Marriott, Patsy Cimon of the Meat Market, Derek Brodin, Joseph Ferrino (East Boston YMCA), Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, and Olympic hockey captain Mike Eruzione and Winthrop Charities.

Driscoll said his group is also in communication with the St. John’s Episcopal Church food pantry and local organization Mi Amor, collaborating on food distribution in the town.

The headquarters for the effort is Cummings Elementary School. “People contact us and we deliver to families at their residence,” said Driscoll. “People can drop off donations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the half-circle at the school on Pauline Street.”

The food distribution operations began soon after Gov. Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory in March due to COVID-19.

“Matt, Ellen, and Amy and I put a plan together and we’re just trying to execute the plan with a lot of people helping,” said Driscoll.

Driscoll said that Town Manager Austin Faison was at the helm of the team’s effort from the outset.

“It started with the town manager’s leadership first and it trickled down to us,” said Driscoll. “It’s been eye-opening to me how generous the people of Winthrop are. It’s great to see the volunteer effort. Everybody is helping out in some way.”

Veterans Services Director Roseann Trionfi Mazzucchelli lauded the team’s efforts and its assistance to veterans.

Looking ahead in his role as parks and recreation director, Driscoll is “hopeful and confident” that the town will have a summer program. “Hopefully by June, we’ll be up and running,” he said.

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