Daily News

Food Bank Receives $5,000 Grant from Mass. Bankers Assoc. Charitable Foundation

HATFIELD — The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts announced it has received a $5,000 community grant from the Massachusetts Bankers Association (MBA) Charitable Foundation. The award is one of 45 grants from the foundation, totaling $163,000, supporting social-services agencies in Massachusetts aiding in the battles of hunger, homelessness, and opioid/drug addiction.

“We are thrilled to be able to give these gifts,” says Donald Gill, chairman of the MBA Charitable Foundation and president and CEO of Coastal Heritage Bank in Weymouth. “This foundation has done so much good work over the years, yet each gift-giving season we see more need. That’s why each year we dedicate ourselves to this effort to help in any way we can.”

The grant will allow the Food Bank to distribute even more healthy food to its 200 member agencies (comprised of food pantries, meal programs, community centers, and shelters) in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. It also provides assistance to individuals facing hunger through its direct-to-client feeding programs, including its Mobile Food Bank and Brown Bag: Food for Elders.

“We are very grateful for this award from the Massachusetts Bankers Association,” said Andrew Morehouse, the Food Bank’s executive director. “It is through these strong partnerships that we continue to be a reliable resource for thousands of households in our region who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”

Currently, more than 223,000 people in Western Mass are impacted by food insecurity. Nearly one-third of those people are children under the age of 18, and approximately 15% are seniors over the age of 65. In the 12-month period from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018, the Food Bank distributed 11.6 million pounds of food — the equivalent of approximately 9,676,000 meals.