At least 12.5% of Western Massachusetts residents are living below the poverty line, and that number is growing.
June 2, 2011, Hatfield, Mass.—The Food Bank has coordinated an immediate response to get food and water to people at shelters and those seeking help after Wednesday’s devastating tornado in Hampden County.
The Food Bank is delivering at least one truck-load of food today to the American Red Cross in Springfield, which will be distributed to Red Cross-operated sites in the city. Additional food deliveries will be made as soon as product is received by The Food Bank, and will be coordinated with the Red Cross to ensure the food is distributed most efficiently and effectively to those seeking help.
Food Bank staff are also communicating with existing emergency food agencies in Springfield – such as food pantries and soup kitchens – to determine how many of those agencies are able to operate and what additional assistance they need to provide food to households affected by the tornado.
“Our hearts go out to all those families whose homes and lives were impacted by this natural disaster,” said Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank executive director. “The Food Bank is here to provide emergency food to the Red Cross and agencies that serve those households during this difficult time of recovery. We’ll continue to assess what types of food products agencies in Springfield need to serve the community, and we will provide food accordingly.”
The Food Bank has secured food and water donations from local and regional food distributors as well as from other food banks in New England, which have sent product to supplement what The Food Bank already has in its warehouse. “Our delivery today to the Red Cross included water and ready-to-eat foods such as granola bars, snacks, fruit, bread, cold cuts, and canned tuna,” said Morehouse.
Community members wishing to help in the effort to provide food to Springfield households affected by the tornado are encouraged to contact The Food Bank or the American Red Cross. Ready-to-eat non-perishable foods are most needed at this time. Click here to download a list of shelters, emergency food access, and other resources.
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