Springfield man doing his best to end hunger

Boykan is selling books to fund his hunger project

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – One Springfield man is on a mission to make sure no one in the city goes hungry.

Irving Boykan is not allowing his advanced age stop him from helping the community he has loved for so much of his life.

Giving back the community has become his new mission in life. He told 22News, “I knew that food is most important to people and stability and I said that’s what I’m going to go for.”

At 95 years old, he’s taken it upon himself to help the Open Pantry in Springfield. He’s worked for months to collect books to sell. All the proceeds from his sale on Sunday go to the pantry.

Boykan said, “It kept me alive and you want to know something, it’s better than winning the lottery. I’m very pleased with what we’ve done.”

The idea for this book sale came after Irving was sick for eight years. When he got healthy he decided he wanted to get back into the community and do something to help.

Irving added, “When I got my strength back, I said I wasted eight years, I want to do something, so I said what can I do?”

Irving called on friends and neighbors to donate any books they no longer needed, and his hard work paid off. By the time of his sale Sunday morning he had collected hundreds of books.

Mary Rosenthal of Springfield told 22News, “Irving and Ester have been friends of mine for a long time and he got it in his head that he wanted to do something wonderful for Open Pantry. He’s been busy collecting books and DVD’s and this and that and everything else, making signs and here it is.”

All the books that were left after Irving’s sale were picked up by the Open Pantry.