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In The Bank

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The following is an open letter that was sent to Food Bank member agencies in light of the impending and potentially severe weather.  While most of the information here pertains to those organizations within the local emergency food network, there is also general useful information below about keeping food safe, and what to do in the event of a power outage:

As most of you are aware, we are all keeping our eye on another storm system that has the potential for a major impact on our region. The storm at this moment is tracking slightly south, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for that pattern to continue. At the same time, there’s a whole weekend for the storm to change its mind, and it’s a good idea to be prepared.

Our first and foremost consideration will be safety of staff, volunteers, and shoppers. As with any major storm, if it is not safe to be open during the storm, we will be closed. Please tune into Channel 22 and/or give us a call to determine if we are closed. If we are closed, there will be a message on our general greeting line; if there is absolutely no answer, chances are good we are closed and the power is out.

In preparation, we are planning to honor all online orders that have been placed or that will be placed over the weekend per our regular schedule of operations. If we have a power disruption, we will find a way to make warehouse shopping available for programs in need. If you have a power disruption and we do not, give us a call to determine the best way to access food. Also, please check the agency resources page of our website for updates in the event of a major impact from this storm. We are “prepositioning” some food in Berkshire and Hampden County in the case that routes to The Food Bank are impassable – if we need to provide that local access to that food, we will be in contact.

Finally, we ask that you be in contact with us – if the storm changes your need and/or your hours of operation, please let us know.

Also, it is helpful to provide folks with some guidance on food safety during an emergency and/or during a power outage. The following two websites provide very useful information:
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FACTSheets/keeping_food_Safe_during_an_emergency/index.asp
http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/power_outages.html

We are hopeful that the impact of the storm on Western Massachusetts will be low, and that everyone in the community remains safe and well.

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