Stuff the Bus drive collecting for Open Pantry

Organizers hoping to collect one ton of food

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – You have until 7:00 P.M. to help stock the shelves of a local food pantry.

The Stop & Shop parking lot on Boston Road in Springfield is the site of the Stuff the Bus drive. Volunteers are helping donors unload non-perishable food items onto a double-decker Peter Pan bus.

The eye-catching bus helps to turn heads, but it is the generosity of the community that opens the wallets and fills the shelves of the Open Pantry.

Cummins Sales and Service organized the annual food drive, and general manager Larry Plude told 22News about the great need in the community.

“It’s all about the community, it’s all about the people in need. Not everybody is as lucky as some, but we are here to help the community. We want them to have their own cabinets at home filled, so they can provide for their own families,” Plude said.

They are looking for food items that can keep for a long time, such as canned food. Their goal is to collect one ton of food items. As of about 2:00 P.M., they had collected about a quarter of that.

The filled bus is taken back to Cummins, where it is offloaded, and then reloaded at the Open Pantry.

This is the fourth annual Stuff the Bus drive. This year, it was held at the beginning of the summer, to help feed the families in need who have children just getting out of school.