SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Hundreds of Springfield's homeless and lonely enjoyed an afternoon Easter Sunday meal.
The Open Pantry community services and their volunteers served more than 300 men, women and children in the High School of Commerce cafeteria, as they've done for so many years on Easter Sunday and on Christmas day and Thanksgiving. These folks told 22News how appreciative they are to be able to be together with people they care about.
"All the people who come down here on Easter, they have no place to live or have no family. But they meet their friends and have a beautiful dinner and enjoy the day until it's nice out right now," Mark Abalan of Springfield told 22News.
Organizers of this event have noticed that in recent years whole families now come here for Easter Dinner. Since they have few if any relatives living nearby, the people sitting next to them become their extended families.
Springfield parent Alex Camacho said, "Oh it's a great thing for the community. It's a great thing for my kids. Good thing of Easter, we're not at home stuck, It's a good thing to go out with your family."
In the kitchen a staff of volunteers, many of them who've been doing this for years, make certain that everyone received their ham dinner. It's been more than 25 years since the Open Pantry began serving these holiday meals by the hundreds.