An Arlington resident and real estate professional for nearly 40 years, Steve McKenna was eager to help families in his community with limited access to sufficient and nutritious food when he discovered Arlington EATS, a local non-profit organization that strives to eliminate food insecurity in Arlington. Steve introduced the Home Advantage Team to the cause, and for seven years, Annie Kelly, Tracy Wallace, Michael Pallotta, Mark Garbino, Kristen McKenna, Mitzi Pallotta, and Elizabeth Davenport have been dedicated to helping Arlington EATS fulfill its mission.
Read as the team reflects on their meaningful experiences, memorable moments, and the profound fulfillment they gain through their contributions to the organization.
Tell us about your involvement with Arlington EATS. What initially inspired you to get involved with this organization? How long have you been involved?
Through generous donations and the work of volunteers, Arlington EATS distributes over 12,000 pounds of food to 350 households each week. Our team has been involved with Arlington EATS for over seven years. Steve was initially inspired to get involved after recognizing the need to address food insecurity. Although Arlington may not typically be associated with food insecurity, there are many local families facing hunger. Steve was eager to help, ultimately introducing the entire Home Advantage Team to the cause. We know Arlington EATS is a great program and a necessary one for the town and its residents.
Can you share any favorite memories from your work with Arlington EATS? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
While we have many great memories working with Arlington EATS, we always look forward to their yearly fundraising event: Beats for EATS. The event is typically held in the spring and features performances by two local bands as well as a silent auction. Those who are passionate about pouring back into the community come together for a night of fun and fundraising.
We're lucky to say we have not faced any challenges while working with Arlington EATS. The organization is always flexible and easy to work with. Most importantly, Arlington EATS truly understands the community’s needs and how best to address them.
As busy real estate professionals focused on philanthropic giving, how do you stay engaged throughout the year?
We stay in contact with Arlington EATS and are always looking for ways to contribute, whether that is volunteering our time or financial assistance. Giving back to the community is always at the forefront of our minds and is a core tenet of our team’s mission. It's easy to stay engaged when it's a driving passion of ours.
Do you have any recommendations for those considering taking a deeper dive into philanthropy?
Finding an organization or cause you can relate to makes it easy and fun to engage with the community. Furthermore, it’s always okay to give whatever you have at the moment, whether that's time or monetary or in-kind donations. A few hours of your time or a few cans of food can make a big difference in your community.
To learn more about Arlington EATS and how you can get involved, visit arlingtoneats.org.