SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The giving season has truly kicked off here in western Massachusetts, 22News was at the march for the food bank in Springfield, where Lia Auto Group gave the Food Bank of Western Mass. a $10,000 check.

This year, food insecurity in western Massachusetts reached a record high affecting 41 percent of households. That’s the highest rate of any region in the state.

Lia Auto Group joined local leaders on a 43-mile march from Springfield to Greenfield to raise money to end hunger. Jillian Morgan Director of Development at the food bank, talked about how the money would let them help residents.

Morgan states, “Getting food out to the four counties of western Mass., getting healthy food out and being able to purchase healthy food to increase the amount of choices folks have, that might be visiting a food pantry or distribution event.”

The food bank hopes to raise a total of $150,000 this year.

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WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.