HCN News & Notes

Freedom Credit Union Collecting Cash, Food Donations for Food Bank

SPRINGFIELD — Food insecurity remains a growing problem throughout Western Mass., especially with ongoing inflation impacting the cost of food and personal-care necessities. For that reason, Freedom Credit Union is extending its annual Month of Giving campaign for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to three months. The community is encouraged to stop by any Freedom branch to donate non-perishable food and personal-care items, as well as cash donations, now through Aug. 31.

“Anyone who buys food or other necessities for themselves or their families knows that the cost of everything has risen significantly over the past three years,” Freedom Credit Union President Glenn Welch said. “This means that more people than ever are experiencing food insecurity and need relief. Our members, staff, and community have always given generously to help support the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, an organization on the front lines of food assistance in our region.”

Suggested donations of nonperishable food and personal care items include:

baby formula; beans in cans or dried in bags; bread mixes; canned chicken, fish, and meat; cereals; coffee and tea; cooking oils and spices; diapers, wipes, and toilet paper; dried or canned fruit; evaporated or powdered milk; granola bars and crackers; feminine sanitary products; instant potatoes; pasta and noodles; peanut butter and nuts; rice and grains; sauces; shampoo, body wash, and soap; soups, stews, and chili in cans; toothpaste and toothbrushes; and vegetables in cans.

“Last summer’s campaign extended over two months, and we collected more than $2,700 plus food and personal-care donations,” Welch said. “We are hoping to increase our total contribution this year and urge our members, staff, and neighbors to donate as generously as possible. Throwing an extra item or two in your grocery cart every week or so can add up to a good-sized donation after three months without affecting your bottom line too significantly.”

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has been feeding neighbors in need and leading the community to end hunger since 1982. It provides food to residents in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties through its members, which include independent food pantries, meal sites, and shelters.