Open Pantry shelves filling up, thanks to “Stuff the Bus” drive

Agency had been in dire straits prior to recent drive

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The food shelves are no longer empty at Springfield’s Open Pantry. The struggling community service agency acquired more than a ton of food in just the last week.

A “Stuff the Bus” drive last week on behalf of the Open Pantry was a huge success, collecting 2,000 pounds of food for the needy in just seven days! The effort was spearheaded by the Cummins Corporation and Stop & Shop supermarkets in Springfield, in partnership with Peter Pan Bus Lines.

Open Pantry employee Yolanda Santa told 22News that she is thrilled with the newly-arrived food.

“The shelves are getting filled, and we are very grateful. The families are happy to fill up their boxes, and it’s a very good feeling. The people have a good heart in donating,” Santa said.

The one ton of newly-received groceries is especially meaningful for recipients like Elizebeth Royland of Springfield.

“It makes me feel really good, and I’m so glad that people are donating to the Open Pantry to help all of us, too,” Royland said.

The success of the “Stuff the Bus” food drive has had a positive ripple effect. 22News stories about the bus drive generated many individual food donations during the past week; enabling hundreds of clients to receive a one-week supply of groceries.

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