Open Pantry prepares Thanksgiving meals at High School of Commerce

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield Thanksgiving tradition that began nearly half a century ago by the Open Pantry continued Thursday at Springfield’s High School of Commerce.

It’s a tradition that’s slightly altered because due to the pandemic, turkey dinners prepared by a team of volunteers in the cafeteria were distributed to the homeless and the lonely just outside the school. This is the second consecutive Thanksgiving colored by the pandemic, the sit-down dinner for the homeless was canceled in favor of distributing the meals outside the building.

“We try to advertise and let the community know they’re receiving a hot meal at the door, a nourishing, comprehensive meal,” Stephen Pena, a member of the Open Pantry Board of Directors said. “Folks are struggling and we’re here to give them support as we always do.”

Still, no word if the homeless will be served their traditional Christmas Day meal inside the school next month or continue receiving the food at the door. The Open Pantry decision will be based on the current concerns about the pandemic a few weeks from now.

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