71% of the people we serve live in poverty. Nearly half of them have had to choose between buying food and paying for utilities, rent, mortgage or medical care.
Dear friends of The Food Bank,
Since the June 1st tornadoes, there has been a great outpouring of support and compassion from our community to help those hardest hit by the disaster. Here at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, we have been working hard to get food and water to households trying to recover from the devastation. For people who have lost everything – their homes, belongings, and sense of security – food is not only a physical need, but also a symbol of care and concern. At our four recent mass food distributions in Springfield, we heard time and again words of gratitude from people who were still trying to figure out how to piece their lives back together. We hope that our offer of food helped provide a sense of normalcy and compassion for those most in need these past two weeks.
In turn, The Food Bank is deeply thankful for the many individuals, groups, businesses, schools and organizations that have reached out to us with donations of food, money and time. Without this support, we could not have distributed nearly 250,000 pounds of food and water to Hampden County agencies and households in Springfield since June 2nd. We received food donations from local supermarkets and food distributors as well as from other regional food banks. More than 40 groups have stepped up to conduct food drives, and dozens of people have made generous financial donations to our Tornado Relief Fund. These donations go a long way. We have been sending food out to Hampden County just as quickly as it comes in, and the financial donations are being used to purchase and distribute disaster-relief food products (every $1 donated allows us to distribute $13 worth of food).
We know that recovery will take a long time for the neighborhoods that were devastated on June 1st. The Food Bank will continue to do what is necessary to ensure that additional food gets to those who need it, both in the short-term and over the next several months as communities and residents get back on their feet. To learn more about our ongoing efforts and how you can help, please visit our tornado response page.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts