GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Greenfield Elks gave away free lunches Thursday for veterans in their parking lot.

The drive-thru lunch meal distribution was the first one the Greenfield Elks have been able to do since the pandemic began. They had 80 pre-packed lunches to give out to local veterans, along with face masks.

Before the pandemic, the Greenfield Elks would host a weekly lunch that fed between 80 and 100 veterans. Throughout all of western Massachusetts, they typically fed up to 350 veterans a week with their lunches.

The lunches are a partnership between the Elks and Building Bridges veterans initiative. Organizers say the lunches are a great way to bring veterans together.

“The imitative is all about community and people being together. When we had to stop the lunches for the time being it really was difficult,” said Reverend Christopher Carlisle, Director of Building Bridges Veterans Imitative.

They say they’re looking forward to serving veterans back in the lodge but because they have a bar, according to Governor Baker’s reopening plan, they cannot open until Phase 4.

The Elks say they plan on doing the drive-by lunches at their Chicopee location on Granby Road next week.