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North Quabbin meals program gets a boost

Congressman Jim McGovern, right, speaks with Franklin County Community Meals Program Board President Jack Golden, left, and Executive Director Andrea Leibson. Recorder file photo
Recorder Staff
Thursday, December 14, 2017 
North Quabbin’s Franklin County Community Meals Program has received a $1,500 grant to help feed those in need.
The money, raised by Fallon Health’s “Golf and Gather Fore a Cause” fundraiser, will support the Orange Food Pantry. Specifically, the money will pay for the pantry’s “building, food, utilities, and staffing, to make sure the Orange Food Pantry can open its doors and serve people,” said Andrea Leibson, spokeswoman for the meals program.
Leibson estimated that last year, the Orange Food Pantry, which has a yearly operating budget of about $41,000, fed more than 2,644 people, and 985 families.
Franklin County Community Meals Program’s mission “is to work in partnership with the community to alleviate hunger,” according to a press statement about the grant. Elsewhere, the community meals program hosts community meals throughout the region, and oversees a second food pantry at Greenfield Community College for students and staff.
Combined, the two pantries serve “an average of 500 families each month and are dependent upon the help of volunteers,” the statement says. The Franklin County Community Meals Program is a part of the Food Bank of Western Mass, and a partner of the United Way of Franklin County and Community Action.