Rising Food Insecurity Prompts Big Y to Make Second Round of Donations
SPRINGFIELD — With regional food banks experiencing unprecedented demand, Big Y is providing an additional $125,000 in support to address the rise in food insecurity.
With the donations made in March, Big Y has provided $250,000 in financial assistance to area food banks in addition to the healthy surplus food it provides to them on a weekly basis. Using the estimate that every dollar donated provides four meals, the Big Y financial assistance amounts to 1 million meals.
“Our goal, our mission, is to feed families,” said Charlie D’Amour, president and CEO of Big Y. “We have people in our communities that are really struggling to get food on their table. The role of food banks serving local neighborhoods has never been more important.”
The donation will be split equally by the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the Worcester County Food Bank, and the Greater Boston Food Bank in Massachusetts, as well as Foodshare and the Connecticut Food Bank in Connecticut. As part of its commitment to hunger relief in its neighborhoods and ongoing partnerships with regional food banks, Big Y provided an estimated $11.5 million of healthy surplus food to these organizations in 2019. This food donation amounts to an estimated 5.7 million meals, two-thirds of which include donations of meat and fresh produce as well as bakery and non-perishable grocery items. Frozen food and dairy products account for one-third of the annual donation.
“Local feeding sites are receiving new patrons from the ranks of the recently unemployed who have never sought food assistance before,” said Andrew Morehouse, executive director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. “The coronavirus poses an even greater threat to vulnerable households at risk of hunger.”