First annual ‘Sal’s Food Drive’ aims to assist those in need

NORTHAMPTON – As the holiday season is fast approaching, a local Hampshire County business is spearheading a food drive to help give back to the community.

Jules Marchetto, the owner and master stylist at Telebelle, a private salon studio located in downtown Northampton, is spearheading and hosting the first annual “Sal’s Food Drive” to simultaneously give back to the community and honor her father, Salvatore Persico, who passed away in 2020.

Marchetto will be collecting unexpired, non-perishable food items until Nov. 7. All types of these donations are welcome, but some of the most requested items based off of a list from the Northampton Survival Center include baked beans, peanut butter without sugar, chick peas, pigeon peas, canned chicken or tuna, pasta, brown rice, cereal, crackers, condiments, cooking oil, mac n cheese, hearty soups and more.

“I always want to find ways to help my community,” said Marchetto, who offers a wide range of hair services in Suite 443 on 25 Main St. in Northampton including, Balayage, lived-in color, hair loss prevention and more. “One day, it just all came together; this perfect storm of being able to help the community and help with the food scarcity issue.”

Growing up in a large Italian family, Marchetto learned that her father’s love language was food and togetherness. He loved making pasta, meatballs, pepperoni bread and he also participated in the “Feast of the Seven Fishes,” a famous Italian American Christmas Eve celebration with dishes of fish and other seafood. He also celebrated Marchetto’s birthday with her own favorite dish. “Fettuccine alfredo is my favorite,” she said. “He always made that for my birthday.”

Most importantly, if someone did not have a place to stay or congregate for the holidays, Persico was the first to invite them over.

“I think sort of circling back to that, and just having food never be an issue for me and my family…and my dad’s desire to just bring people together and gather, and cook, and provide, was just sort of this all-encompassing way to check all the boxes of what I was trying to do,” said Marchetto, regarding the inspiration behind the food drive. “It’s also giving my clients an opportunity to help out and fill a need and their desire to give back, but maybe not know how too.”

Persico, along with Marchetto’s mother, inspired Marchetto to pursue a path in cosmetology business, where she has been a licensed hair stylist for about 12 years. “I come from long line of cosmetologists,” said Marchetto. “My mom is still a hair stylist, and my dad was sort of a renaissance man…as a child, he was a hair stylist and a nail technician. I grew up in a salon between him, my mother and my aunt was a nail technician as well.”

For a while, Marchetto was a booth renter, which she described as an “independent contractor within another salon.” Once COVID-19 hit, however, Marchetto felt it was time to pivot and open her own private studio where people can schedule appointments online. “It was a good time to spin off and do my own thing with a little private studio,” said Marchetto, who opened the studio officially about a year ago.
Now that she has officially settled in, Marchetto is using this food drive to connect and give back to the community. “I’m excited to make this food drive an annual thing and see where I can run with it,” said Marchetto. “Even clients and friends said this is the best way to honor him, because that’s what he was known for.”

People may drop off their donations during their scheduled appointments with Marchetto or contact her to schedule a time.

The Reminder | October 12, 2022 | Ryan Feyre