Free holiday dinner distributed to Holyoke residents

Local News

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A socially distant winter wonderland event was held in Holyoke Wednesday evening, marking the second year of giving in this way.

The Annual Holyoke Community Dinner was once again transformed into a contact-free food pickup event. One Holyoke, along with several sponsors, came together, in the rain, to provide free food boxes to more than 500 families. The boxes contained all the fixings for a classic Latino holiday dinner. This year, the need was even greater.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano, Director of Community Engagement at One Holyoke told 22News, “One Holyoke is not a food insecurity organization, but we saw a need and we went to help.”

It’s the 6th annual community dinner and the second held as a non-contact event under COVID-1 restrictions. The event featured a Winter Wonderland outdoor space with ice sculptures, light displays and character inflatables. A vaccine clinic was also hosted by Holyoke Health Center.

“Our goal with this event has been to bring people together with art, food, and entertainment; in which none of this would be possible without the help of our wonderful sponsors. OneHolyoke CDC wants to hold the yearly event despite the pandemic and bring back our creative outdoor Winter Wonderland event from last year. With the help of sponsors there will be ice sculptures, light displays, character inflatables and a box of food for the first 500 families. We are proud to partner with the Flats community and our many wonderful sponsors,” said Rosa-Soriano.

Last year, they did about 300 food boxes and this year, they did well over 500. Some 95 volunteers helped to make Wednesday night possible.

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