Daily News

Country Bank Supports Food Pantries with $130,000 in Donations

WARE — Country Bank donated more than $130,000 to local food pantries throughout the year to assist with supplying food to its communities.

The Greater Boston Food Bank recently reported that food insecurity in Massachusetts reached an all-time high in November. The state has experienced a 59% increase since 2018, representing more than 1 million people in need of food assistance. Most people are using food pantries for the first time, and food insecurity is projected to increase to 81% for children.

As part of Country Bank’s “Season of Giving” campaign, it donated additional funds to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and the Worcester County Food Bank. The donation was to honor its banking customers and partners in place of traditional holiday gifts. “This was such a great idea and so wonderful to help others at this difficult time,” said Therese Rakouskas, owner of Five Star Gardens in Palmer.

Added Andrew Morehouse, executive director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, “we’re so grateful to Country Bank for its social investment of $20,000 in the Food Bank’s mission to feed our neighbors in need at this critical time. With this support, we’ll be able to provide 40,000 meals to households struggling to make ends meet and put healthy food on the table. For every dollar donated, we provide the equivalent of four meals,.”

Jodie Gerulaitis, vice president, Community Relations at Country Bank, noted that “the pandemic has undoubtedly placed a strain on our local food pantries. As a community partner, we are fully committed to helping those in need throughout this pandemic.”