SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tractor trailer after tractor trailer were filled with food donations from generous people from across western Massachusetts, as Rock 102’s Bax & O’Brien wrapped-up their annual Mayflower Marathon food drive Wednesday morning.
Set up at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, the popular local morning DJs broadcast for 52 hours straight. By 9:00 A.M., three trucks on the property were already filled with donations, with food being loaded into a fourth truck during the Marathon’s final hour.
The donations will go to help feed those in need at The Open Pantry in Springfield.
The Open Pantry is a lifeline for thousands of people in western Massachusetts, it provides the food they need to feed themselves, and their families. For the past week, their shelves have been bare, but they’ll be full once again with the hundreds of thousands of food donations collected through the Mayflower Marathon.
Matt Castleman, the Executive Director of the Open Pantry told 22News the event helps them for months to come. “As of last Friday, our shelves were essentially bare, and this rejuvenates our surplus, and keeps the shelves stocked well into the spring. The people that come to see us, their lives depend on it. They need food, they come to us for help, and that’s what we’re here for,” he said.
Rock 102 Host’s John O’Brien and Mike Baxendale told 22News they look forward to helping the Open Pantry year after year. “It’s for the folks who are in need, and it’s a great cause, and a good time to be out here,” they said.
Celebrity guests who lent their support on the air included “Brady Bunch” actress Maureen McCormick, actor Beau Bridges, comedian Lisa Lampanelli, singer Meat Loaf, Governor Charlie Baker, Congressman Richard Neal, and our own anchor Barry Kriger.
By the time the Mayflower Marathon ended at 10:00, they had collected an unofficial total of $125,000+ for the Open Pantry- a new record!