March 14 2019

Rep. Ken Gordon Honors Tuscan Kitchen Owner for Providing Meals After Gas Explosions



A restaurateur with a Burlington location was recently honored for stepping up and helping those impacted by a series of gas explosions last fall.  

“Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) and his House colleagues from the Merrimack Valley and the Boston Seaport gathered at Tuscan Kitchen to honor the restaurant and its owner Joe Faro for proving that in Massachusetts, there is such a thing as a free lunch,” a release from Gordon’s office states.

Last Thanksgiving, in temperatures that hovered in the single digits, Faro and the Tuscan Kitchen staff joined with Columbia Gas Company to donate 20,000 turkey dinners to residents of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover who were without access to cooking gas after the September 13, 2018 gas explosions.

“While the meal may have been free to the residents who lost gas access, it was certainly due to the sacrifice and hard work of the Tuscan Kitchen staff,” the release reads. “The restaurant worked days roasting turkeys, preparing the fixings, and packing the meals for pickup or at the locations where meals were served.”

Representatives Frank Moran (D-Lawrence), Christina Minicucci (D-North Andover), Tram Nguyen(D-Andover), and David Biele(D-Boston) joined Representative Gordon at Tuscan Kitchen’s Seaport location to present a resolution from the House of Representatives honoring the restaurant’s contributions. The group also presented a rare gift from the Legislature, a Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag personalized which flew over the state capitol in a personalized wooden frame.

During the ceremony, Gordon thanked Faro and his staff and said their work after the crisis was an example for all.


“The contribution that Tuscan Kitchen has made to our community is inspiring and breathtaking,” he said. “When families in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover lost their ability to cook for their families on Thanksgiving, the call went out and Tuscan Kitchen stepped up.”


At the time of Thanksgiving, thousands of families in Merrimack Valley were placed in temporary housing, while many others remained in their homes without the ability to cook a Thanksgiving meal. Faro said they worked diligently to ensure everyone had a hot meal for the holiday.


“We had to prepare 9,000 turkeys,” said Faro, who grew up in Lawrence.  “I had never seen 9,000 turkeys in one place. We didn’t know how we were going to do it, but we did. I’m so glad we were able to help out. This is who we are. This is why we do what we do. We are here to do our part.”


Finally, Gordon said that while supplying so many meals was indeed a big task, it was not surprising that Faro and his team stepped up to provide them.


“This is no surprise when it comes to Tuscan Kitchen,” he said. “They have annually provided 400 of our veterans with free meals on Veteran’s Day in their Burlington restaurant. They support the Boys & Girls Clubs, Skate for the 22, and many other organizations. They make our community a better place and we appreciate what they do.”


Tuscan Kitchen has Italian restaurants in The District in Burlington, as well as in Salem, N.H., Portsmouth, N.H. and the Boston waterfront.


Photo Caption: Tuscan Kitchen owner Joe Farrow and his staff with State Rep. Ken Gordon (Courtesy Photo).


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