FA Teacher Steve Walach Honored with Marot Award

October 3, 2017

The Times: PAWTUCKET, article by Jonathan Bissonnette

– Read the entire article here.

When each of the four individuals honored as part of the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen's fifth annual Ernie Marot Humanitarian Awards ponders what it means to be bestowed with a distinction named after the soup kitchen's late founder, they all respond with the same word. Humbling.

The four men – John Kilmartin of International Packaging Corporation, Joe McKenna of McKenna Roofing & Construction Inc., Mike Ryan of National Grid, and Steve Walach of Friends Academy in North Dartmouth, Mass. – are being celebrated and congratulated for their work in making the lives of those facing hunger just a bit easier, but each say that they are simply doing the work that is right and necessary.

Each of the honored guests have committed themselves in some way to aiding the soup kitchen and helping it combat the issue of hunger in the area, which was precisely the goal of the kitchen's late founder. The award is named in honor of Marot and commends individuals and businesses who have supported the mission in the same humble way as he did.

Walach manages the gardening efforts at North Dartmouth's Friends Academy. Students in sixth through eighth grades work in the school's garden and grow an average of 5,000 pounds of produce yearly, most of which is donated to local food pantries.

“When I heard about the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen and met Adrienne, I said 'Let's give some too,'” the Saint Raphael Academy graduate said. Produce has been donated to the kitchen for the past six years.

“It's very humbling. When you do service, you don't really want the attention on you. It goes on the people you're serving and the service you're providing … The Soup Kitchen, the ethos is so pure. It's gradually evolved and the whole point is to treat people with dignity,” Walach said. “Adrienne is just amazing in that respect. She's totally selfless, always giving.”

“When I bring food – whether it's lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes – I know it's going to get prepared in a healthy kind of way and the people are going to get something they'll really enjoy and that's good for them,” he added.

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, and to commemorate the occasion, the Soup Kitchen will be hosting the Ernie Marot Humanitarian Awards and Fund Raising Dinner on Friday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. at McCoy Stadium.

WJAR-TV's Allison Bologna will serve as the honorary chair and emcee, while Central Falls High School educator Deloris Grant will be the keynote speaker.