EASTHAMPTON — bankESB recently donated $5,000 to the Easthampton Community Center to help cover additional costs of the Kid’s Bag Pantry program resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kid’s Bag Pantry Program typically provides each child up to age 18 with a bag of food monthly during the school year and weekly during the summer months. This year, the weekly program began in March due to the area’s school closures. The program will run through August and will serve approximately 800 children from 22 cities and towns across Western Mass.
According to Executive Director Robin Bialecki, the cost to run the program is approximately $10,000 per month. In addition to incurring three additional months of services, the organization is experiencing a funding shortfall because its annual fundraising golf tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Food insecurity, especially among children, is sadly prevalent and even moreso without our schools in session,” said bankESB President and CEO Matthew Sosik. “This program is a wonderful example of communities coming together to help feed our children, and we’re happy to be a part of it.”