WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Eastern States Exposition made a food donation Friday afternoon, in what has become an annual tradition.

Wendy’s once famously asked “Where’s the Beef,” well today we have the answer. The Big E has donated premium beef to the Open Pantry and Friends of the Homeless in Springfield.

Pictured left to right: Gene Cassidy, president and CEO, Eastern States Exposition; Jeanna Misischia, Parish Cupboard board member; Bob Fastie, executive director, Parish Cupboard; West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt; Carolyn Maloney, Parish Cupboard board member. (Courtesy of Eastern States Exposition)

The Eastern States Exposition donated hundreds of pounds of premium beef from a prize-winning 4-H steer to the local nonprofit. The program provides youths with a fun and hands-on learning experience that develops both beef subject skills and life skills.

Pictured left to right: Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; Jonathan Holden, community relations manager, Open Pantry; Keith Rhone, director of operations, Friends of the Homeless; Gene Cassidy, president and CEO, Eastern States Exposition. (Courtesy of Eastern States Exposition)

Both Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Eastern States Exposition CEO Gene Cassidy delivered the meat this morning and 22News spoke to Mayor Sarno about why this tradition is so important. “This is a lot of good protein and a lot of times the families and individuals in need don’t receive this high quality beef,” says Mayor Sarno. “It’s a great tradition and I’m deeply appreciate of Gene Cassidy and the Big E and the 4H for giving this high quality beef.”

This is now the 6th year that the Eastern States has donated 4-H Beef and CEO Gene Cassidy said the donation of premium 4-H beef will help feed the hungry in the community, and it draws attention to the importance of understanding agriculture, farmers and production livestock in our daily lives.

The Open Pantry told me today that over 100 people use them every day and with the holiday season coming up, this donation means in huge difference is so many lives.

Local News

Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.