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In The Bank

Posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and FedEx launch a new partnership to deliver food to Hampden County emergency food agencies.

A new partnership between The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and FedEx Express began last Wednesday. In an innovative combination of emergency food assistance services and logistics expertise, FedEx Express has offered to deliver food from The Food Bank once a month to areas of limited food access in Hampden County.

On the third Wednesday of each month, a FedEx Express truck will arrive at The Food Bank’s warehouse in Hatfield and load up with needed food to deliver to Food Bank partner agencies – such as meal sites, food pantries, and emergency shelters – in Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee. Depending on the types of food needed by these agencies, the truck could make deliveries of 1,800 pounds of food per month. On its preliminary run on August 17, the FedEx Express truck delivered 4,732 pounds of food.

While The Food Bank currently offers its own delivery program to some agencies in Hampden County, the need for additional deliveries is great, especially with continued increases in the number of people seeking food assistance. A recent study issued by the national Food Research & Action Center found that one in four households with children in Springfield do not have enough money to buy food.

“This extra monthly delivery will go a long way in getting additional food out to households struggling to meet their food needs in this stagnant economic climate,” said Andrew Morehouse, executive director of The Food Bank.  He continued, “Hampden County is where we see the most demand for food assistance, given that the Springfield metropolitan area has the highest food hardship rate in the state. This partnership enables us to get more food to more local emergency food sites so we can serve more households especially with children and elders.”

The partnership was born when the FedEx Senior Manager of the Windsor Locks, CT facility contacted The Food Bank after hearing a public radio story about The Food Bank’s work to increase food access in the food desert neighborhood of Mason Square. FedEx Express wanted to play a part in addressing the difficulty residents have accessing fresh produce and nutritionally balanced meals at affordable prices. The delivery partnership will use FedEx Express’ local delivery resources to have an immediate impact on reducing hunger for food-insecure households.

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