At least 12.5% of Western Massachusetts residents are living below the poverty line, and that number is growing.
Today is Food Day, a nationwide celebration and movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Food Day takes place annually on October 24 to address issues as varied as health and nutrition, hunger, agricultural policy, animal welfare, and farm worker justice. Across America, people hold events to celebrate local food, advocate for fair food policy, and acknowledge the issues that many people face when it comes to feeding themselves and their families.
Food Day’s tenets of healthy, affordable, and sustainable food are shared by The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, as we believe everyone in our community and beyond should have access to healthy and affordable food. For twenty years, The Food Bank has been dedicated to getting local produce to our food insecure neighbors. In 1992, The Food Bank of Western Mass. was one of the first food banks in the country to start a farm and grow its own food. Now, in 2012, we’re working with Mountain View Farm to cultivate our 60 acres of land in Hadley, and produce at least 100,000 pounds of chemical-free produce per year to distribute to more than 300 member agencies and directly to households in need of food assistance.
Western Massachusetts is a region rich with farms, gardens, and people passionate about growing their food and eating local. Striving to ensure everyone in this community has the food they need to be healthy and secure is our priority, and The Food Bank is committed to partnering and connecting with growers to get local food to our neighbors who need it most. For instance, the Church of Christ in Pittsfield runs a Giving Garden which directly benefits Food Bank member agencies in the Berkshires. Many local farmers make contributions of produce to The Food Bank for distribution throughout the region.
In a community as vibrant and passionate about local food as Western Massachusetts, on October 24, we’re reminded of the efforts from farmers, growers, activists, and concerned neighbors that contribute to our work and make a healthy impact on the community.Comments Off
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