It’s been more than 30 years since Springfield’s Open Pantry started providing Easter Sunday dinner for the homeless and for families with nowhere else to observe this special day.
At the Springfield High School of Commerce cafeteria, hundreds came for Easter dinner and to share the experience with others who might otherwise spend the day alone.
Year after year families have shared a communal table with homeless men and women. It’s a camaraderie that’s preferred to being alone on a day such as this.
Martin Pagan of Springfield told 22News, “I live far away to spend the time with the family, people are making good food over here, to come over here have food with the family.”
The kitchen staff and the servers are all volunteers, spending part of their holiday to assist the Open Pantry’s humanitarian holiday dinners.
The easter dinner is but one of the events hosted each year by the Open Pantry. In addition to Easter sunday, the Open Pantry provides these community dinners on Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
No fewer than several hundred people attend, sharing a meal and companionship with others.