BOSTON (WHDH) - Local residents and elected officials gathered at Shirley’s Pantry in Mattapan on Saturday to prepare boxed Thanksgiving meals that will help hundreds of people who may have otherwise gone without this holiday season.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley were among those on hand to support the effort.

Shirley Shillingford said, “They’re amazed because they didn’t realize they would get so much.”

“Our families work so, so hard and today with housing costs are expensive as they are and the price of food and everything going up, the holidays can be really stressful because you want to give your family that beautiful time together,” Wu said.

Young volunteer Zayden Magee said, “It made me feel really good to help put a smile on other peoples faces, especially people who don’t have enough food for their family.”

The pantry says it plans on dishing out some 600 meals this year.

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