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Berkshire County Courts Host Weeklong Food Drive

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County courts and Pittsfield Community Corrections Center are hosting three separate weeklong food and supply drives to benefit non-profit agencies across the county as part of the Massachusetts Trial Court's statewide 4th annual Cultural Appreciation Week 2020, Oct. 19-23.
 
The weeklong Cultural Appreciation Week celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion in the courts and communities throughout the commonwealth. This year's theme is "We Rise by Lifting Others, Justice and Culture: Bridging the Gap." 
 
In the spirit of the theme, event organizers decided to help those who are experiencing food insecurity. The pandemic has increased the level of food insecurity, according to Feeding America which found that one in seven people may not have access to three healthy meals a day and one in five children in Massachusetts now live in food-insecure households, an 81 percent increase over pre-COVID-19 food insecurity levels.
 
The courts and center are among more than 70 state courts, offices, and departments hosting food and supply drives across the commonwealth. The idea for the drives originated in Berkshire County. 
 
The Southern Berkshire District Food Drive will support Multicultural BRIDGE (Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups and Education )in Lee.
 
Berkshire County Court Complex drive hosted by Central Berkshire, Superior, and Probate & Family courts as well as Community Corrections Center will benefit the St. Joseph's Food Pantry and the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
 
Northern Berkshire District Court's food drive will provide food for the Berkshire Food Project in North Adams.
 
Non-perishable food and supplies may be dropped off at the following locations:
 
Southern Berkshire District Court, 9 Gilmore Ave., in Great Barrington; bins set up for donated food and supplies from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
• Suggested donations: canned soups, beans, tuna and chicken; peanut butter and jelly; dried beans; tortillas (corn & flour); grits; and salsa.
 
Berkshire County Court Complex, 76 East St., in Pittsfield; bins will be set up in front of the complex from from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
• Suggested donations: non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, laundry pods, full-size shampoo, conditioner, razors and shave gel, twin and full fleece blankets, new bed pilows, brooms and dustpans, kitchen serving utensils, diapers, and new socks and underwear.
 
Northern Berkshire District Court, 111 Holden St., North Adams; non-perishable items will be collected in bins set up under a tent in the parking lot from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Suggested donations: canned food, pasta, dried beans, rice.

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North Adams Shop Connects Art, Greenery and Curiosities

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Yawn supplements her inventory with plants from local growers. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Emilee Yawn has found a way to connect her love of greenery, art and community with the recently opened Plant Connector at 46-48 Eagle St.
 
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"The idea is that it is like a plant store but it's also a lot of locally made stuff and you can go through the drawers like a curiosity shop," Yawn said. 
 
The "oddities" such as candles, essential oils, cards, totes, baskets and macrame plant hangars made by her mother. Local artists are represented but also items made by crafters Yawn has known in her travels. 
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