Springfield Open Pantry discontinuing holiday food deliveries

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was a difficult decision Wednesday when the Springfield Open Pantry discontinued holiday food deliveries to hundreds of elderly shut-ins.

For 35 years, dozens of western Massachusetts volunteers would deliver hundreds of dinners to elderly shut-ins on Thanksgiving, Christmas day, and Easter Sunday.

The meals were delivered on the days of the holiday, and prepared for the homeless at Springfield’s High School of Commerce cafeteria.

However, the open pantry no longer has the money to continue the holiday tradition of delivering as many as 600 meals to the elderly and infirm.

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Lynn Goldber of Agawam delivered these meals for eight years and feels the seniors will be deeply disappointed, “The compassion that have you come to the door. They’re so grateful to take somebody like that along so vital to anybody, it’s terrible.”

Open Pantry Executive Director Matt Castleman told 22News, it was a difficult financial decision but the only course of action the open pantry could take consider its responsibility to provide food for the homeless each day, and to keep up the service for needy families who depend on the open pantry to put food on their table.

“This agency serves close to 20,000 people each year. We have to look at that entire 20,000. We have to make decisions that benefit that entire group,” said Castelman.

He hopes the Open Pantry’s small army of donors give even more and are joined by other compassionate people, to fund the program to deliver meals to hundreds of elderly shut-ins.