Weldon House in Greenfield treats residents to early Thanksgiving

  • Daniel Carr, center, of Carr’s Affordable Catering out of Orange, and his staff assemble turkey dinners complete with salad and pie for residents at the Weldon House in Greenfield on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Edith “Edie” Handleman, 98, receives a turkey dinner complete with salad and pie at the Weldon House in Greenfield on Tuesday from staff members Herb Morin, Shane Adams and Domenica Cuscina. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 11/25/2020 1:26:12 PM

GREENFIELD — Edith “Edie” Handleman eagerly awaited an early Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday provided by the owner of Weldon House apartments on High Street, where she has lived since 2004, and said it was even better than she had expected.

“It’s too bad I didn’t get two dinners,” the 98-year-old laughed during a phone interview Tuesday just after lunchtime. “It was so good. I ate about half and will have the rest tomorrow.”

Handleman said her youngest daughter, who lives in Greenfield, will bring her a Thanksgiving meal Thursday, but she is so grateful that the company that owns Weldon House was so “kind and thoughtful” to its residents.

The Schochet Companies, headquartered in Braintree, hired Carr’s Affordable Catering in Orange to make the meal that consisted of salad, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash, rolls and pumpkin pie.

Domenica Cuscina, who manages Weldon House and other properties for the company, said Schochet is grateful for its residents and wanted to do something for them, especially those who haven’t been able to get out much — or at all — since the pandemic hit.

“We feel so bad that they haven’t been able to have any social events,” she said. “This wasn’t a social event by any means, we delivered the food to each of their apartments.”

She said five staff members delivered to the 110 residents.

“It went quickly, so the food was still warm when it got to them,” Cuscina recounted. “We’ve had such great success with (preventing) the virus in this building, we didn’t want to take any chances.

“There’s so much they can’t share with their friends and families this year, but at least we could share this with them,” she added.

Weldon House Maintenance Supervisor Shane Adams said staff members wanted to show their appreciation for the residents.

“They’ve all been so strong, remained strong during this crisis,” he said. “We wanted to do something in the spirit of the holiday.”

Adams said staff members received a meal in appreciation, too. He said they sat and ate after delivering the meals to residents.

“We knocked on everyone’s door, social distancing and wearing personal protective equipment,” he said. “These are challenging times, so we’re aware of what we need to do to keep everyone safe.”

He said the residents are “great people” who love to interact, though that has been almost non-existent throughout the pandemic.

“Today we heard multiple ‘thank yous,’” Adams said. “It was heartwarming.”

Handleman said she enjoyed the pumpkin pie most — she admits to having quite the sweet tooth.

“It was so good,” she continued. “I’m not a good cook, so I appreciate good food.”

Handleman said what she’ll miss most this year is seeing her three children, five grandchildren and her 11-year-old great-granddaughter.

“I Zoom with her a lot,” she said. “I sing to her and she sings to me. My daughters call me every day and my son calls a couple times a week. I love my family.”

At 98 years old, Handleman said she has learned to take life one day at a time and accept what comes her way, including the pandemic. She always tries to see the glass as being half full.

“I’m looking forward to next year, when the family can be together again,” she said. “But for now, the Weldon made a dark time a little brighter this year.”

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.

Greenfield Recorder

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