Statement from the Food Bank on Flooding in Western Massachusetts
We, at the Food Bank, are deeply saddened by the destruction caused in Western Massachusetts and beyond due to recent storms and flooding. Across the Commonwealth, current estimates are that 2,000 acres of farmland on 75 farms were impacted, totaling $15 million in losses. Our heart goes out especially to local farmers, some of whom have had devastating losses of crops as rivers overflowed into nearby fields, including the fields of our long-time partner Mountain View Farm CSA and our newest partners Joe Czajkowski Farm and Atlas Farm. All three partners also lease land on our two Food Bank Farms in Hadley. We are relieved to report no significant crop damage has occurred on either Food Bank Farm.
Ever-changing weather events, particularly in the last three years in a row, pose a significant threat to the livelihoods of our neighbors who have made it their life’s work to grow food for communities in our region and across the Commonwealth. Our farmers have been some of our strongest allies, providing about one million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables every year to households facing food insecurity.
During this difficult time, we urge the community to consider supporting local farms seeking recovery assistance in the coming months. Massachusetts Governor Healy recently announced the establishment of the Massachusetts Farm Resiliency Fund, which will be set up in partnership with the United Way of Central Massachusetts. The public is urged to donate to it here: https://unitedwaycm.org/farmfund/.
We are lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful farmland and the amazing people who grow fresh local food for us. We depend on them to carry out our mission and they depend on you to buy local food.
Food Bank of Western Massachusetts