Open Pantry offers free holiday meal

The group offered food to those unable to afford it, or without a place to eat.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Springfield’s High School of Commerce opened it’s doors for Open Pantry’s annual Thanksgiving dinner Thursday.

More than one hundred volunteers served a special Thanksgiving meal in Springfield Thursday afternoon, and for some diners, they wouldn’t be eating without it.

“We just like to be with people, not be alone.” Said Allen Taver. “If I wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have a meal.”

The open pantry has hosted the meal for decades, and this year, more than 300 families were able to have a free Thanksgiving meal who otherwise might have gone without.

Open Pantry also delivered more than 400 takeout turkey dinners on top of the meals served in the cafeteria this afternoon. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno helped serve some of the dinners.

“I’ve been doing this for many many years prior to my being an elected official.” Sarno said. “It’s to help individuals and families that are in need. Not only breaking bread, but also in camaraderie and helping them get back on their feet.”

Diners said the food was delicious, telling 22News “If you went to the Delaney house or log cabin, this would be one plus.” Taver said. “So they treat us real well here.”