CHICOPEE, Mass, (WWLP) – On Saturday local groups hosted what they call, “Rucksgiving.”
A recent tradition where veterans and volunteers fill backpacks – or “rucks” with food for Thanksgiving and deliver it to a local food pantry.
“These organization, Run Your Health, RYW, you know they exist to help each other,” Tom Orifice, chapter captain of the Team Red, White & Blue non-profit told 22News.
Orifice noted, “Team Red, White & Blue exists to be active in their community so it’s all about giving back and it’s not just Thanksgiving it’s giving back all year long.”
Team Red, White & Blue is a national veteran service organization and Run Your Health is focused on getting active.
This year they chose Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry in Chicopee for their donations.
“There are plenty of people that are in need, they can’t afford the stuff that the rest of us can to have a great holiday and we want them to be able to have it too. And just in general they need food,” said Southampton resident, Rich Geffin.
They walked from Szot Park in Chicopee to the donation center — a more than 3-mile walk.
“Today we fill our backpacks and we’re ready to go and we carry it down there.”.
“It’s just a great thing to do,” Geffin expressed. “This is the second time that we’ve done this and we all got our backpacks and we fill them with canned goods and dry goods.”
Volunteers delivered more than 150 pounds of turkey and nearly 250 pounds of other Thanksgiving foods Saturday.
Loraine’s says they’re low on turkey donations this year compared to last so the Rucksgiving event was a big help.