Volunteers from Mazzone Catering serving Thanksgiving lunch at the Sister Maureen Joyce Soup Kitchen. (Franchesca Caputo photo)
Volunteers from Mazzone Catering serving Thanksgiving lunch at the Sister Maureen Joyce Soup Kitchen. (Franchesca Caputo photo)
 For the sixth year in a row, the needy received a full Thanksgiving meal donated by Angelo Mazzone, owner of Mazzone Hospitality, to celebrate the holiday.  
 
Mazzone’s staff, in partnership with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, Blessed Sacrament Church and Congregation Beth Emeth, continued the annual tradition of serving up hot and nutritious meals to all who came into the Sister Maureen Joyce Soup Kitchen in West Hills, Albany on Monday, Nov. 25. 
 
The menu consisted of all the Thanksgiving classics, including roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and herb stuffing; savory sides such as cranberry sauce, homemade gravy, rolls, pumpkin and apple pies; and lastly, a crowd-pleaser for children, cinnamon whipped cream.
 
Matt Mazzone, chief operating officer of Mazzone’s Catering said charitable giving is at the core of the company’s mission. 
 
“Being a hospitality company is more than serving at a high-end wedding, it’s about serving the community,” Mazzone said.  
 
Angelo Mazzone, whose restaurants include Angelo’s 677 Prime, Angelo’s Tavolo at Glen Sanders Mansion, Prime at Saratoga National and Tala American Bistro, has worked with City Mission, United Way and Ronald McDonald House in the past.  
 
“Whenever you do service you get the warmth feeling - it feels good to do good,” Mazzone said, “On the other hand, as a consumer, people choose to work with companies who want the Capital Region to thrive.”  
 
Renee Wendover, program coordinator at the SMJ food pantry, located at 315 Sheridan Ave. in Albany, and the SMJ soup kitchen in West Hills, Albany, originally started as a volunteer to fulfill a requirement set by the Recovery House, as part of her long-term treatment for alcoholism. Within the span of nearly five years, however, Wendover got sober and worked her way up to program coordinator.  
 
“Doing this is kind of making my amends, and the volunteers here have taught me a lot about giving. I didn’t know anything about that, I just knew a lot about taking,” Wendover said. “So this taught me a whole different way of life.”  
 
Wendover added one of the biggest benefits of her job is helping others recover. 
 
“I get people that are in the same shoes as I was, so I have a big understanding of the anger aspect, the no money, the addiction aspect, so I get to help them too, which is phenomenal.” Wendover said. 
 
Thanks to the volunteers at Mazzone Catering and the SMJ Center, 173 people were served for Thanksgiving lunch.   
 
The Soup Kitchen at the SMJ Center, a collaborative effort between Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, Blessed Sacrament Church, and Congregation Beth Emeth, serves nourishing noontime meals to nearly 200 people each Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.  For information on how to volunteer, call (518) 347-9546.