WORCESTER — Fallon Health announced an additional $250,000 in community giving to support community partners across its service area as they work to help maintain food-assistance programs for areas or populations that are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With these recent donations, Fallon has more than doubled donations to benefit food-security initiatives in 2020 over previous years.
Among the 15 organizations receiving funding are three from Western Mass.: the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Take and Eat Pantry, and Elder Services of Berkshire County.
According to Feeding America, more than 50 million people nationwide may experience food insecurity this year because of COVID-19. In Massachusetts, the organization’s coronavirus hunger research shows the projected food-insecurity rates have grown from 4% to 10% in 2018 to 11% to 17% in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“Over the past few months, we have seen the current healthcare crisis impact the lives of many of our friends, families, and neighbors, many of whom are facing food insecurity for the first time,” said Richard Burke, president and CEO of Fallon Health. “Our partners play a vital role in helping people of all ages, income levels, and health statuses to achieve their health goals. We’re proud to work with so many wonderful organizations to extend that reach this holiday season and help us fulfill our mission of making our communities healthy.”
After hearing from many individuals in its workforce who were looking for additional ways to give back, Fallon also kicked off its annual “Feed a Family” campaign. Through Dec. 11, the organization’s 1,200 employees will fill bags of food with a goal of providing holiday meals to an additional 350 families across its service area. Fallon will supplement these with 350 gift cards to local grocery stores and supermarkets to help purchase perishable items.