Grants Will Provide 100,000 Meals for People Across Western Mass.

HATFIELD — Wheeler & Taylor Insurance of Great Barrington and Canary Blomstrom Insurance Agency of Agawam are providing major support to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Two rounds of funding, one now and a second round in the spring, will pay for about 100,000 meals. The Food Bank provides food to 165 food pantries, shelters, and meal sites in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties.

“We’re so grateful to Wheeler & Taylor and Canary Blomstrom for their social investment in the Food Bank’s mission to feed our neighbors in need at this critical moment,” Executive Director Andrew Morehouse said. “With this support, overall, we’ll be able to provide 100,000 meals to households struggling to make ends meet and put healthy food on the table.”

Added Wheeler & Taylor Insurance president J. Scott Rote, “thanks to the Food Bank, thousands of people in the region are able to get enough to eat every day. In this time of unprecedented need, our communities need unprecedented support, and we’re glad to do our part.”

Wheeler & Taylor and Canary Blomstrom are members of GoodWorks Financial Group, a network of common-ownership insurance, real-estate, and financial firms.

“It couldn’t be a worse year, a more heartbreaking year, for many folks,” said Sandy Brodeur, president of Canary Blomstrom. “I’m glad to know the grants will support food programs in our local area as well as regionally.”

With the pandemic, demand for food has grown exponentially. The Food Bank is serving 109,500 people a month in 2020, up 16% from 2019. The organization distributed 11.1 million pounds of food from March through October, a 30% increase. It estimates that about one in six residents in the region, including 40,000 children, or one in four, are food-insecure.