Area shelters preparing, seeking donations for Thanksgiving meals

Thanksgiving is days away and many are looking forward to breaking bread and giving thanks with neighbors.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:34 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 4:46 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Thanksgiving is days away and many are looking forward to breaking bread and giving thanks with neighbors. In addition, shelters are gearing up to welcome local families.

Shelters, including the Springfield Rescue Mission, are preparing for Thanksgiving. Alongside delivery and drive-thru dinners, the Springfield Rescue Mission is organizing their first sit-down Thanksgiving meal since the COVID-19 pandemic. Kevin Ramsdell is executive director of the Springfield Rescue Mission and he said they are looking forward to welcoming families inside.

“We haven’t been able to rub shoulders with them and share stories of what’s going on in their lives, listen to their stories on how thankful they are and how grateful they are,” Ramsdell said.

Even with ongoing struggles of inflation and supply chain issues, Ramsdell said they are preparing to serve more meals than in years past.

“Things that you run out of at the grocery store, we’re seeing shortages here too in the donations that are coming in,” Ramsdell added.

They still have a need for some meal staples.

“We need more milk, we need butter, we need more cranberry sauce. The people we were getting pies donated last year have since closed due to a shortfall because of the pandemic and what not, so we are in need of pies yet still,” Ramsdell explained.

Western Mass News also stopped by Friends of the Homeless in Springfield. We spoke with Bill Miller, vice president of housing and shelter. He said volunteers are prepared to serve about 600 meals throughout the day with some familiar faces.

“We do have people though who come in as volunteers who look forward to it from year-to-year, so some of the people come back as volunteers each year, which is terrific,” Miller added.

Even with the upcoming holiday, Miller shared it doesn’t distract them from their mission: finding permanent homes for people in need

“Our main goal actually is to help house people, so that, you know, the people we served last year at Thanksgiving are not the same ones we’re serving at Thanksgiving,” Miller explained.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering with either organization, you can click below for more information: