BROCKTON — More than 1,000 people who wouldn’t have had a special meal this Thanksgiving received one thanks to Father Bill’s & MainSpring.
The Brockton-based nonprofit agency that is dedicated to ending homelessness in southeastern Massachusetts provided more than 1,300 meals to local individuals in need.
Father Bill’s hosted in-person gatherings at six sites in Brockton and Quincy and delivered hundreds more to households.
The effort was made possible by 100 volunteers who assisted Father Bill’s staff to provide the meals, which were secured from Hardy Catering in West Bridgewater.
“t was the largest single-day meal total in the agency’s history,” said Patrick Ronan, a spokesperson for the agency.
In Brockton, Father Bill’s hosted physically distanced in-person meals at the MainSpring House emergency shelter, the satellite shelter at the former Rodeway Inn on Belmont Street and at two of its housing properties, Jack’s Place and Jeff’s Place. Meals were also delivered to other Father Bill’s sites and to individuals living outdoors.
Each meal included traditional Thanksgiving fixings, including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, green beans and pie.
“No day epitomizes the FBMS community more than Thanksgiving, a day when our volunteers, donors, staff and local businesses come together to provide meals and companionship to our neighbors in need,” said Father Bill’s & MainSpring President & CEO John Yazwinski. “For a second straight year the pandemic created logistical and financial challenges for our Thanksgiving program, but once again our supporters answered the call and ensured that no individual or family would go hungry or be alone on this special holiday.”
In Quincy, the agency’s community meal returned to Christ Episcopal Church, where it had been held for many years before it was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year’s meal, open to anyone in the community in need of a meal or companionship on the holiday, was spread out over multiple sittings, reducing the number of people indoors at the same time,” Ronan said.
Father Bill’s & MainSpring also expanded its meal-delivery program, with volunteers driving about 500 pre-packaged Thanksgiving dinners to the homes of local individuals and families in need.
The agency said donations to a special Thanksgiving Fund allowed Father Bill’s & MainSpring to meet added costs this year. Nearly $20,000 has been raised toward the fund, including contributions from Hingham Congregational Church, Christ Episcopal Church in Quincy and CVS Health.
This year’s pie donors for the Thanksgiving effort included Easton Knights of Columbus Council #238 in partnership with Mann Orchards in Methuen, Table Talk Pies of Worcester and the Boston Bruins Foundation.
“On this Thanksgiving, and every day, we are grateful for our caring community,” Yazwinski said.
Enterprise senior reporter Cody Shepard can be reached by email at email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @cshepard_ENT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.