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Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Receives $5 Million for Food-distribution Center

SPRINGFIELD — On Monday, state Sen. Eric Lesser was joined by Chicopee Mayor John Vieau, members of Chicopee’s legislative delegation, and Andrew Morehouse, executive director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, to announce $5 million in funding secured to build a food-distribution center and headquarters in the city of Chicopee. Lesser acted as lead sponsor in the Senate, securing this state funding in the ARPA spending bill signed into law on Dec. 13.

“The Food Bank of Western Mass. provides vital services to those in need in our region. With this funding, we have put them in striking distance of their new building capital campaign, which will be located at the heart of the need,” Lesser said. “There has never been a time where the work of the Food Bank has been more important, and we remain committed to working with them to address food insecurity in Western Mass. until it exists no more.”

Morehouse expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Food Bank’s board of directors and employees, as well as households across the four counties of Western Mass. who struggle to put food on the table.

“This tremendous investment in the Food Bank’s future food-distribution center and headquarters in Chicopee will enable us to carry out our mission for decades to come,” he said. “I would like to thank Senator Lesser for leading the charge with his fellow Chicopee state legislators and for the support of the entire Western Massachusetts legislative delegation and Governor Baker. Together, this public-private partnership will achieve our vision of a Western Massachusetts where no one goes hungry and everyone has access to healthy food.”

State Sen. John Velis called the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts “a force multiplier. It is a gift that keeps on giving for so many people over and over again, fulfilling so many needs.”

State Sen. Adam Gomez added that “it has been an extraordinary privilege to work on issues like food insecurity. Five million dollars is an extraordinary amount of money to be able to complete this project, and I am happy to be a part of it.”

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