BOSTON (CBS) – Frank van Overbeeke used to work in fine dining on Newbury Street before joining Pine Street Inn 10 years ago as their executive chef.
“He just kind of rolls with the punches,” said Pine Street Inn spokeswoman Barbara Trevisan. “Always in good spirits. You know, just great to work with. Never really says no to anything or anybody.”
She added, “when we had the big snowstorm that winter of snow, he slept here so that he would be here to make sure that meals were being prepared for people.”
This year, there’s been plenty of challenges in preparing those meals. This Christmas is no different.
Van Overbeeke explained, “We’re minimizing folks coming into the kitchen and into the building itself so all of those volunteers that normally keep the place really festive at this time aren’t here.”
Normally, there would be up to 150 volunteers helping around the holidays at Pine Street Inn. This year, it’s up to Chef Frank and Pine Street’s staff and trainees- roughly 25 people- to make this Christmas special.
Van Overbeeke said, “It’s a very difficult time of year for them so it’s also an opportunity for we at Pine Street to make it the best we can for them, and while we try to give them great food all year round, we really go all out for the holidays.”
In order to do that, the team has been hard at work, putting in an estimated 300 hours preparing meals for Christmas Eve and Christmas.
He shared, “we’re limited in our budget for the rest of the year but they’re getting a big steak on Christmas Day.”
Pine Street Inn is the largest homeless services provider in New England, with close to 2,000 men and women using their services on a daily basis.
Trevisan said, “I think we just want people to know that they haven’t been forgotten. Even if it’s something like a meal, which may seem pretty simple, it’s still a way of saying we value you, we know you’re here.”
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