Local businesses urge grocery shoppers to “Stuff a Bus” with food

Drive hopes to alleviate the food shortage at Open Pantry

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Regional Office of Cummins, which sells diesel engines and generators, hopes to generate at least one ton of food for the Open Pantry later this month.

When they learned several years ago that food donations drop off sharply during summer, Cummins teamed up with Peter Pan Bus Lines and Stop & Shop Supermarkets to collect food.

“We actually saw a segment on 22News 3 years ago,” the director of the food drive Kerry Wilbois explained, noting “how bare the shelves were at open pantry. We just felt we needed to do something about it.”

With the Open Pantry in the midst of another food shortage, Wilbois urges shoppers to donate food to the upcoming “Stuff a Bus” food drive on August 19th at the Stop & Shop on Boston Road in Springfield.

Open Pantry executive director Matt Castleman is planning a network of small food drives to hopefully prevent another summer of empty shelves. He described it as “a great way to get your kids doing something in the summertime. This will provide enough money to feed an average family for about a month.”

Castleman said growing a garden will provide much needed produce for Open Pantry families. The drive runs from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Food items which the Open Pantry are most in need of include:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned meats
  • Pasta and rice
  • Peanut butter
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Cereal
  • Tuna fish
  • Baby food

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