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The mission of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetss is to work with our community to reduce hunger and increase food security.
The Food Bank works behind the scenes of nearly every charitable organization that serves people in need in western Massachusetts. Our over 400 member agency programs include soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters, childcare centers, and elder programs throughout Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. In 2005, The Food Bank distributed 6.4 million pounds of food to these agencies to help feed people in need. Much of this food is donated by food manufacturers, wholesalers, supermarkets and restaurants. We also distribute USDA commodities, food purchased through a state program, and fresh produce from our own community-supported organic Food Bank Farm. The Food Bank was founded in 1982 and is one of more than 200 certified food banks that are affiliated with America's Second Harvest, a national network of food banks. In Western Massachusetts, those in need are our own neighbors: senior-citizens on fixed incomes, single-parent families, the unemployed, and the working poor who struggle to make ends meet. Almost half of the people receiving food are children. Annually, The Food Bank helps feed more than 100,000 people in western Massachusetts, about 12% of the region's population.