SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new food rescue partnership between Rachel’s Table and MGM Springfield was announced Tuesday morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Area legislators have assisted the non-profit, Rachel’s Table, in acquiring a brand-new refrigerated van. The van will continuously be packed up with food items donated by MGM Springfield and delivered to those in need in surrounding communities.

“Today alone, we are delivering 3,500 pounds of delicious MGM food to four locations. That’s thanks to a new refrigerated van that will transport surplus food from MGM Springfield to those in need.” Jodi Falk, Director of Rachel’s Table

The partnership was made possible with some assistance from Senator Eric Lesser and State Rep. Brian Ashe who filed a $75,000 earmark in the American Rescue Act.

“Moving forward, this is going to help three times the amount of food, and the amount of distribution and people that are able to be helped.” Senator Eric Lesser, 1st Hampden & Hampshire District

This van primarily picks us refrigerated food items, like dairy and meats, and delivers them six days a week all throughout western Massachusetts. Its first stop was at the Salvation Army on Liberty Street in Springfield Tuesday. Capt. Connie Graham of the Salvation Army told 22News that the van service will bring in new foods to the population they serve.

“The beef, we hardly ever get the beef. The pizzas. Everything that they bring.” Capt. Connie Graham of the Salvation Army “This means a lot, and it’s going to go a long way. They’re going to be very grateful.”

This partnership will be ongoing with up to four pallets and close to 2,800 pounds of surplus food from MGM Springfield being distributed each week and just in time for the holidays.