The Mayflower Marathon kicks off in Springfield

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thanksgiving is almost here and some local radio personalities are trying to make sure everyone gets fed this holiday.

The Mayflower Marathon, a Thanksgiving tradition in western Massachusetts is underway in Springfield! The 52-hour radiothon event began at 6:00 a.m. Monday to support the open pantry.

Rock 102: Mayflower Marathon

For more than two decades, Rock 102’s Mike Baxendale and John O’Brien have been hosting their annual Mayflower Marathon to benefit the Open Pantry of Springfield and make sure everyone has something to eat on Thanksgiving.

Last year, in just 52 hours the annual event raised more than $94,000 met the goal of filling three big-rig trailers with non-perishable food items.

Bax told 22News donations come from all over western Massachusetts and from different states as well.

“Everybody whether you’re from Springfield or else where comes out and supports. We have people come from Vermont to donate to help people here which is pretty unusual, but still wonderful,” Mike Baxendale said.

Students from Roger Putnam Vocational Academy were among those giving back at today’s food drive.

“It’s cold outside…some people can’t afford to go to the stores and buy food so I think it’s good to help and donate,” 11th grader Tazhanique Fuller said.

“It means a lot to me, it shows how much you care for other people, your kindness and empathy as well,” 11th grader Brendan Garcia said.

The donated food usually lasts the pantry until March. On average more than 140 families use the pantry each day. Food and money donations can be brought to the Basketball Hall of Fame located at 1000 Hall of Fame Ave, Springfield, MA 01105. Or make a monetary donation here.

PHOTOS: Mayflower Marathon 2019

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