Food Pantries Awarded Berkshire Bank Foundation GrantsBy Joe Durwin
Special to iBerkshires
01:34PM / Thursday, November 17, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County's 23 food pantries on Wednesday each received a welcome boost in funds going into this year's holiday season.
Berkshire Bank foundations donated $23,000 to more than two-dozen local food pantries.
Each was awarded a grant of $1,000 by the Berkshire Bank Foundation and Berkshire Bank Foundation-Legacy Region, formerly the Legacy Banks Foundation.
The presentation was one of the first major joint charitable awards co-presented by these two philanthropic branches following the merger of Berkshire Bank and Legacy Banks. These grants celebrate the successful merger of the two by reinvesting back into the community, said Director Peter Lafayette, who helms both foundations.
"You people are really the unsung heroes," Lafayette told grant recipients gathered in the lobby of the Colonial Theatre.
These funds come as a shot in the arm to many cash-strapped pantries, going into a winter season in which many charities and assistance programs foresee heavy demand from local families.
Food pantries that received grants covered a range of churches from several denominations, as well as secular food pantries and organizations serving veterans.
The list of organizations includes the Williamstown Food Pantry, the Christian Center, Christian Assembly Food Pantry, Friendship Center Food Pantry, First Baptist Food Pantry, Hinsdale Food Pantry, Lee Food Pantry, People's Pantry, Soldier On, Reigning Love Food Pantry, Sheffield Food Assistance Program, and South Congregational Food Pantry.
Pantries at St. Agnes, St. Charles, St. Mark, St. Stephen and St. Joseph all received grants as well, as did Berkshire Food Project, Veterans Food Pantry, and the Salvation Army in North Adams and Pittsfield.
The two foundations have also supported a number of such facilities this year in nearby New York, Vermont, and in the Pioneer Valley, not included as part of this particular award presentation.