By JOSHUA SOLOMON
GREENFIELD — The annual United Way of Franklin County “Supper for Six” fundraiser, helping to prevent students from going hungry during the February school break, has a fresh new take.
In addition to a food drive of non-perishables Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at St. James Church, the United Way will receive foods from the Franklin County Community Development Corporation’s Food Processing Center.
The partnership will bring close to 300 pounds of local, diced carrots to the drive, in addition to the roughly 500 shopping bags full of meals that the drive typically collects. The grocery bags people often bring include items needed for dinner, like pasta and sauce, rice and beans, cooking oil and spices, among other non-perishables.
“Part of our mission is food access and healthy food access so this directly feeds into that mission,” Joanna Benoit, food systems program manager at the processing center, said. “Eating local and eating healthy gets a little more challenging because of seasonality, but these frozen vegetables are a direct solution to that.”
The way Benoit and the center linked up with the United Way this year was partly because of their expanded operations. “It clicked that this is the right time for that partnership,” Benoit said, noting the larger storage facility with a better place to freeze more food.
“Bringing high quality produce to food pantries can be a challenge, and the Food Processing Center has created a wonderful solution,” United Way of Franklin County Executive Director Sandy Sayers said in a statement to news organizations.
The fundraiser comes out of the idea that when schools are closed, some children lose a vital source of meals. Students who qualify can be eligible for free breakfast and lunch at the public schools.
“When those programs aren’t available during school vacation weeks, families count on area food pantries to help fill the gap. The Supper for Six program was created by our Women’s Way group to provide additional support to the local pantries during these times of higher demand,” Sayers said.
Food is distributed through the United Way’s partner agencies, like Community Action, the Franklin County Community Meals program and the Montague Catholic Social Ministries.
For people who want to donate non-perishables but cannot make it to Supper for Six Tuesday, Feb. 6, they can drop off donations at the United Way’s office on Davis Street.
You can reach
Joshua Solomon at:
413-772-0261, ext. 264