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The Black Whale is the 2023 Winner of the Heroes Award, Presented by Travelers' Atlas.

106 Co-Op Wharf, New Bedford, MA 0274


In New Bedford, a city deeply rooted in its seafaring heritage, sits The Black Whale, a culinary gem that mirrors the maritime legacy of the area. Established by local Steve Silverstein, a fourth-generation successor of the iconic "Silverstein’s, The Family Store", the restaurant pays homage to the hardworking fishermen who bring forth the city's world-renowned seafood bounty. Recently, at the winner of the Heroes Award, the smell of fresh seafood dishes was briefly replaced with an atmosphere of community solidarity. Instead of customers, 72 volunteers gathered to pack over 28,000 meals, destined for South Coast food pantries.

The gathering at The Black Whale wasn't an isolated endeavor. "There's a lot of people in this country, and the world, that are food insecure,” shared an impassioned Silverstein. Partnering with End Hunger New England, a non-profit that is on a mission to provide meals to 5 million New Englanders by year's end, The Black Whale joined forces to tackle food insecurity, a pressing issue especially in Bristol County, which has the state's second-highest food insecurity rate.

This initiative, lauded by many, was further buoyed by the massive community support it received. Calls for volunteers by Servedwell Hospitality to help pack meals were met with an overwhelming response, filling up within a day. “We lead by example, and people really got excited about it,” said Silverstein. From locals like David and Pam Mello to representatives from institutions like the Global Learning Charter Public School, each volunteer played a pivotal role, making this venture a grand success.

The true essence of this endeavor lies in its spirit. It's in the meticulous assembly of nutritious meals by volunteers. It's in the laughter and camaraderie as they race to pack the most meals. It's in the belief of community stalwarts like Tobey Eugenio, who emphasizes that "together we're stronger." For Silverstein, a local with a profound love for New Bedford's heritage and its people, this initiative epitomizes community - a beacon of hope ensuring that many families sit down for a warm meal.

Recognized for


Community Contributor




106 Co-Op Wharf, New Bedford, MA 0274


(508) 990-7100

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