Westfield Newsroom

Free hot meal offered to all this Saturday

Gerson Nivar and his daughter Arianna will offer free hot meals to the community Feb. 27. (GERSON NIVAR PHOTO SUBMITTED)

WESTFIELD – After the success of its first free community dinner, Salt & Light Ministry is hosting its second dinner on Saturday.

Salt & Light founder Gerson Nivar said this week’s free community dinner is Feb. 27 from 2-4 p.m. on Elm Street near the bus station.

Nivar will cook and serve yellow rice and beans, which will be gluten free and vegetarian, with his daughter Arianna.

The first event was hosted on the Green and Nivar said it was a success but was a challenge for some people to navigate because of the rotary. He hopes setting up by the bus station will be easier to get to for those in need of a meal.

In addition to a hot meal, Nivar will hand-out gift bags with toiletries and socks.

“Many folks have been generous in donating socks and items to give out, which was a need last time,” said Nivar. “Some folks didn’t have any gloves or coats and I only had one to give away – mine.”

Nivar welcomes donations at the event and encouraged anyone interested in learning more to visit the Salt & Light Ministry website https://saltandlightma.wixsite.com/saltandlightma.

Nivar is a Westfield resident who started Salt & Light five years ago “to spread as much of the love of God as I could.”

Salt & Light Ministry aims to help those who are struggling, regardless of religion or situation.

“The organization came about after I overcame my struggles with addiction and mental illness – I’m five years clean and sober. God loved me when I was at my worst, so now that I am better, I just want to pay it forward. The food came about because I came from a cooking family and that’s how we show love and hospitality.”

Nivar said Westfield, as a community, has given him so much and he wants to give back.

“I will also be having a similar event in Agawam on March 13 from 2-4 p.m.,” he said, noting he is still working out the details.


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