Northern Berkshire Veteran Services Holds March Food Drive

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — For the month of March, residents can do their part to support local veterans by donating to the veterans' food pantry.
The pantry, which keeps nonperishable food on hand for veterans in need, also provides personal care items and some clothing. It was established in the Veteran Services Office in City Hall some years ago. 
"Oh, there's always a need," Director of Veteran Services Stephen Roy said. "We strive to fill the shelves at least once per month and by the time we re-stock, the shelves are nearly bare."
Roy said the agency would periodically run clothing and food drives to replenish supplies.
"Specifically, we seek winter clothing in the fall, summer clothing in the springtime, etc.," he said. "We can always use food items as our food pantry has become quite popular with our clientele over the years."
The pantry is in need of potato chips, nacho chips, popcorn, crackers, granola bars, mixed nuts, jerky, dried fruit, protein bars, water, Gatorade, tea, coffee, nonperishable cheeses, cookies, dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent. 
"We can always use non-perishable foodstuffs and other goods such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, shoes/boots, etc.," Roy said. "Given advance notice, we can also move fresh foods for our needy."
Roy said it is hard to put a number on how many people the pantry serves. He said there are about 50 who regularly stop by but many others who randomly visit.
Food can be dropped off at North Adams City Hall 
Roy said these donations are what make the Veterans Food Pantry possible 
"Without the contributions of our community and the kindness and generosity shown our veterans, the food bank would be impossible," he said. "Ever since COVID, many of our then-reliable sources of food have disappeared and we rely upon donations versus food banks. Things also become complicated legally in that regard but donations are always accepted and much appreciated by all."
Roy said the office can always use volunteers in addition to donations. Anyone with questions about donations can contact Administrative Assistant Tina Samson at 413-662-3040.

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First Congregational 'Share The Love' Campaign Increases Donations

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — First Congregational Church's "Share the Love" campaign raised $5,550 that was donated to local food pantries and community services.
"Every little bit helps," Rich Wilson of the Berkshire Food Project said. "For the community to come together like this and think of us is a great thing."
Through the month of February, the congregation collected donations from the Northern Berkshire community. For every $100 received, the congregation donated $25. 
All proceeds were split evenly among the three recipient organizations: the Berkshire Food Project, Louison House, and the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry. 
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