“Feed the Fight” donates food to front line workers at BIG E fairground

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Peter Pan Bus Lines and the Bean Restaurant Group have teamed up to feed western Massachusetts front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Feed the Fight” local initiative stopped by in a Peter Pan Bus at the BIG E fairgrounds on Friday to donate food to front line workers at its testing site.

The food donated was by the Student Prince Restaurant of Springfield. This restaurant is among the team of more than 30 local restaurants that have partnered with the initiative.

More than 60 people were fed at the testing site including Mass State police and members of the national guard.

“It’s an amazing thing that they are here helping us out,” said Second Lieutenant Sarah Perry of the National Guard. “For us to be here to help health care workers and first responders, it’s a great thing too. Any way anyone can help out the community is a good thing.”

The organization, started by Peter Pan Bus Lines and the Bean Restaurant Group gives daily meals to first responders and front line workers.

Their mission: to show support and gratitude for the first responders and front line workers while supporting local western Massachusetts restaurants.

“My husband is a first responder in West Springfield. He’s a police lieutenant, so it hits close to home,” said Danielle Veronesi of Peter Pan Bus Lines. “Not just for first responders, but health care workers… and working at Peter Pan we have buses that are obviously idle, so we feel like we are putting the best use to helping the community at this time.”

Their fundraising goal to support their efforts was $25,000 and they’ve reached that now with a $5,000 donation from Freedom Credit Union.

Peter Picknelly, Peter Pan Bus Lines CEO and Feed the Fight organizer told 22News that it’s good to be helping those first responders.

“Providing them with lunch and sometimes dinner now too,” said Picknelly. “So it’s been a really good campaign and a great show of community support for those hard-working front line workers.”

Picknelly says they’re going to continue to do the delivery for the next few weeks rotating between local hospitals and testing sites.

The Big E told 22News they tested 180 people Friday, and are now expanding to a capacity of 250 tests.

You can find out how you can help the “Feed the Fight” initiative by clicking here.

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