SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A hearty meal in Springfield Wednesday night for more than one hundred people who might otherwise have to go without a Thanksgiving dinner.
A traditional meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes and pie was served, free-of-charge, to hungry and homeless men, women and children at the Springfield Rescue Mission.
The Thanksgiving Banquet has become a tradition supported by community donations, at minimal cost.
Springfield Rescue Mission executive director Ron Willoughby told 22News the Mission pays the difference, "I don't know where you're gonna get all that for a dollar-92. And we're just delighted that the community is willing to support us to the level that they are so we can provide a meal like this."
Gary Zaleski of Springfield has been attending the Rescue Mission Banquet for years. He told 22News he appreciates the efforts and compassion of so many caring people.
"They get all this done, and a lot of volunteers and what not. They do it year after year. It's quite an operation," said Zaleski.
In addition to Wednesday night's banquet, the Mission Hosts a Thanksgiving morning breakfast, and volunteers started bringing hundreds of traditional dinners to the elderly, disabled and shut-ins Wednesday Afternoon.
Willoughby said there are dozens of volunteers who will have served more than 600 dinners by Thanksgiving afternoon.