by Anita Fritz for the Greenfield Recorder
January 27, 2021
GREENFIELD — Women’s Way, a program of the United Way of Franklin County, will once again collect bags of nonperishable groceries for its Supper for Six event, but not the way it has in the past.
Supper for Six was started in 2005 to help support families that rely on school lunch programs during the winter break. This year, instead of gathering as it always has, Women’s Way will host a drive-thru food drop-off on Tuesday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the United Way parking lot at 51 Davis St. in Greenfield. The food will be given to local agencies for distribution to those in need on Feb. 4.
Anyone who wants to donate nonperishable food but is unable to participate in the drive-thru can drop off bags through Tuesday, each weekday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the United Way office. Monetary donations can be made at uw-fc.org/supper-six.
Women’s Way and United Way are taking precautions to protect staff, volunteers and donors by asking everyone to wear a mask and have bags ready in vehicle trunks or back seats so social distancing can be maintained, United Way Executive Director Sarah Tanner said. There will be traffic directions in the parking lot, and people should remain in their vehicles.
“The need is greater than ever because many throughout the county continue to struggle through the pandemic,” Tanner said.
Women’s Way Chair Charity Day said food insecurity has been a huge problem for many Franklin County residents, especially since the pandemic hit 10 months ago.
“There’s a real increase in food needs and it continues to grow,” Day said.
She said Women’s Way is a group of local women who want to be “hands on” when it comes to helping others. The group does all sorts of collections, like Blooming Backpacks, Supper for Six, an oral health drive and more.
“We partner with United Way agencies,” she said. “The agencies are on the ground doing the distributing of the things we collect.”
The food that is collected will be distributed to local food pantries and nonprofits, including Community Action’s Center for Self-Reliance, Franklin County Community Meals Program, The United Arc, the Mary Lyon Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, Montague Catholic Social Ministries and the Greenfield Salvation Army.
Additionally, any money received will be used to purchase gift cards to local supermarkets. Tanner said those will also be distributed through the agencies.
In the past three years, Women’s Way has collected 1,167 bags of nonperishable food through the Supper for Six event.
“I’ve always been impressed with the United Way and what it provides for local families in need,” said Day, who became Women’s Way chair in 2016. “I wanted to be a part of it, something worthwhile, so I joined Women’s Way. I just love handing out backpacks and bags of food. You feel like you’re doing something tangible. It’s great to give to organizations, but it’s also great to help out that way as well.”
Reusable bags to hold the nonperishable food are available in the entryway of the United Way office during business hours. Call ahead at 413-772-2168 to see if it will be open at other times. Bags can then be returned to the entryway or dropped off during the drive-thru event.
Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Greenfield Saving Bank and Franklin First Federal Credit Union donated the reusable bags for the drive.
For more information, call 413-772-2168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions for food items to donate can be found on the United Way website, uw-fc.org.
Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or email@example.com.