LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Three law enforcement officials and the Greater Springfield Credit Union collectively donated $8,500 this week in an effort to help Western Massachusetts families struggling during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to a news release sent to 22News, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, and retired State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin donated $5,500 to further the efforts of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
The Greater Springfield Credit Union heard about the donation and offered to contribute an extra, $3,000 bringing the total to $8,500.
The food bank has seen an increase in need from residents reaching out for assistance since the start of the pandemic. According to Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, in September alone, there were around 114,000 people who received food assistance with about 20,000 of them visiting a food assistance site for the first time.
The donation will provide 34,000 meals for families in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties.
According to the news release, Gilpin, a Hampden resident who served as the head of the Massachusetts State Police before retiring in 2019, decided to challenge her former counterparts in an effort to give back to those in need. She said that in her eyes, public service is about giving back.
“Sheriff Cocchi, Commissioner Clapprood, and I recognize the devastating effect that COVID-19 has had on the families of Western Massachusetts,” Gilpin said. “It is truly an honor to be able to help support the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in providing meals to assist those most in need during this holiday season.”
Sheriff Cocchi said he was eager to meet Gilpin’s challenge to take care of those in need this time of year.
If you would like to donate to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, visit their website.