WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A state police vehicle was sitting outside the Big Y in Wilbraham on Saturday, but not on traffic or security duty. Its purpose is to be filled with food donations! And, with the holidays just around the corner, many local organizations are beginning to embrace the season of giving.

The Hampden District Attorney`s Office, together with the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit hosted its annual food collection on Saturday afternoon. Each year, the food drive collects thousands of food items to distribute to families in need ahead of Thanksgiving Day.

“We measure by truckloads, so every year we do several pickup truckloads in vans. So, we’ll really do a lot of food and we know that helps a lot of needy people at an important part of the year where we’re giving thanks, and we want to share what we have with everybody. It’s a very special thing that we’re really proud of,” said Hampden County District Attorney, Anthony Gulluni.

Proceeds of the drive benefit the Rock102 Mayflower Marathon, which takes place on Monday, November 20th from 5:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. outside of the South End Market at MGM Springfield. The donations from the Mayflower Marathon in turn go to the Open Pantry. Though prices of Thanksgiving staple food items like turkeys and cranberry sauce have decreased in price since last year, they still remain higher than in pre-pandemic times.

Those dropping off donations at the Big Y are happy to help even in just a small way.

“For me, it’s something I want to instill in our daughter; that it’s important to help out those that are less fortunate and that we can,” expressed Michelle Bernard from Ludlow.

“I just think it’s great and I think that more people should definitely take the time to assist those when they possibly can,” expressed Ludlow resident, Evan Dellolio, “I think that we all need to think about that this time of year, it’s certainly a season of giving.”

Thousands of donations were collected and delivered by Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni and Massachusetts State Troopers in Massachusetts State Police vehicles on the morning before Thanksgiving in past years.

“Every year the outpouring of generosity is overwhelming, and we are hoping for the same this year. Once again, members of my Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit have stepped up to lead the drive benefitting Rock 102’s Mayflower Marathon, which in turn benefits the Open Pantry. Please look for us outside the Wilbraham Big Y this Saturday and donate to a very worthy cause,” said Gulluni.

Local News

Kaelee Collins is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kaelee on X @kaelee_collins and view her bio to see more of her work.