CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The pandemic has caused many people to struggle with hunger.
“Unfortunately many households whose bread winners have lost their jobs because of businesses needing to cut back or close and it’s been a really though time for a lot of people,” said Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
The Food Bank of western Massachusetts provides healthy food assistance to 115,000 people monthly. Nearly 20 percent have never been to a food pantry or meal site.
“It’s just a skyrocketing increase and we don’t anticipate it will go down for some time to come,” said Morehouse.
The Food Bank typically receives their deliveries on Mondays of about six to seven trucks of food. The food then goes further into the warehouse for sorting.
“Some of our agencies, the uptick in what our agencies are taking is immense, with one agency that’s been taking 100,000 pounds of food a week,” said Warehouse Manager Mike Cortis.
Volunteers grab the items for charities and food pantries that rely on the Food Bank.
“Our building, the last time it was added on it was rated to do about 10 million pounds a year. And last fiscal year we distributed 14.9 million pounds,” said Cortis.
John Shields, a 20 year volunteer told 22News, “It was pretty bad before. Also, it’s just once we got up here and started realizing the need was out there, it was pretty eye-opening.”
For every dollar donated to the Food Bank, they’re able to provide four meals.
22News invites you to consider making a donation to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts during our “Feed Our Neighbors in Need” Campaign.