The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts helps feed more neighbors in need thanks to $30,000 grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has been awarded a $30,000 grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation to support agency capacity building and provide more meals for the 235,000 people in need throughout Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties. We will utilize the award to provide 11 local partner agencies with 8 commercial refrigerators and 4 commercial freezers.
This will be the second agency capacity building grant awarded to The Food Bank by BJ’s Charitable Foundation in as many years. After helping to expand capacity in 2014 for more than 400 feeding pantries and programs nationally that resulted in over 10 million more pounds of food being donated, BJ’s Charitable Foundation will invest additional funding this year to further prevent a bottleneck in the supply chain for food distribution to Americans facing hunger.
“We collaborate with our partner agencies to get food to our community on a daily basis,” says Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director at The Food Bank. “With this grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation, we are able to continue to increase the capacity of these organizations to be more efficient and effective, and provide more healthy food to our neighbors in need.”
The agencies receiving the awards include:
- Christian Pentacostal Church (Holyoke Pantry) – Holyoke
- Community Survival Center – Indian Orchard
- Holy Redeemer Cathedral (Food Pantry Site) – Springfield
- Iglesia El Dios Incomparable (Food Pantry) – Holyoke
- Open Pantry – Springfield
- Providence Ministries (Kate’s Kitchen) – Holyoke
- Salvation Army (Food Pantry) – Holyoke
- Salvation Army (Food Pantry) – Springfield
- Vincent de Paul (Food Pantry) – Westfield
- USO Council of Pioneer Valley – Chicopee
- Wales Community Food Pantry – Wales
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts works with our member agencies of food pantries, shelters and meal sites that distribute emergency food. Those same local hunger agencies are often limited by a lack of equipment to move donations and provide safe storage for perishable items. Many agencies also encounter limited staff availability and training to support more high-functioning operations. The BJ’s Charitable Foundation grant will help those local agencies safely pick up more donated product from local supporters and distribute more perishable foods to community members in need — a crucial component in the fight to end hunger.
“At BJ’s, we’re always looking for new ways to partner with food banks and local organizations to help solve hunger in our communities,” said John Kane, Assistant Vice President of Regional Operations at BJ’s Wholesale Club. “Through this grant, equipment from refrigerated vehicles to coolers as well as food safety training and other costs related to agency success will result in more nutritious food getting to the people who need it most.”
BJ’s Wholesale Club distributed grants to 20 additional Feeding America food banks to enhance these organizations’ agency capacity building. Each agency capacity grant provided by BJ’s Charitable Foundation will be supplied in September, in honor of Hunger Action Month. Throughout Hunger Action Month, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and the Feeding America nation-wide network of food banks will rally the country to engage in the fight to end hunger in America.