NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - All the cooking began on Monday. Then on Thanksgiving Day, the dinner was served.
Dozens of volunteers spent their Thanksgiving morning serving hundreds of meals with Manna Soup Kitchen at Edwards Church in Northampton.
Volunteer Pamela Bardsley told 22News "There's nowhere I'd rather be today than here."
Many volunteershave come back year after year to serve others. They say seeing everyone's happy faces after the meal makes every minutes of it worthwhile.
Bardsley said "The sparkle in an elderly man's face when this little girl would give him a piece of pie that maybe they don't want or not supposed to eat, but they take it anyway. I can't put words to it. I have goose bumps right now."
Diane Westman who was helping with serving of the food told 22News "People will go home with full tummies and good thoughts."
And some for some, volunteering reminds them of the challenges they had to overcome.
Bob Saalfrank, Head Chef who prepared Thursday's meal, told 22News "The Manna program helped me back in 1984 when they first opened up. I was out of a job. I had my family to support, and here I am now doing the cooking and coordinating the program."
Kate Ormond said "I am a stroke survivor. I had the stroke three years ago, and I have been very fortunate. I feel that I need to do something for others."
Volunteers also delivered free meals to people in Hatfield, Easthampton and Williamsburg.