The summer proved to be an extremely busy time for us at the BFP. We are now serving between 80 and 100 meals each day. This season more than any other we witnessed a large increase in the number of families with young children in our dining room. Many of these families expressed how hard summer time is for them when their children are home and their Food Stamp (SNAP) benefits are not increased. During the school year breakfast and lunch is provided for free or at a reduced rate for those who cannot afford the $2.25 meal provided by the school. However, during school vacations SNAP benefits are not increased which puts a heavy financial burden on these families who are trying to provide adequate food to feed their families. It is clear that the Berkshire Food Project is needed now more than ever for without the meals provided by us, many of these families would suffer from hunger and food insecurity.
On the volunteer front: We were fortunate enough to entertain student groups from several different camps and schools across Massachusetts. These students also worked at Caretaker Farm and Square Roots farm on our behalf. These two local CSA’s provide fresh organic produce to the BFP on a weekly basis and seemed very happy to have the extra help of these volunteers.
Kitchen news: Along with the business of the summer, we were sadden to part with our Kitchen Manager Adam Quimby. Adam was with us for over two year and was truly loved by the volunteers and dining room patrons. We all wish him the very best in his future endeavors.
After searching for several months for the right person to take over Adams position, I am pleased to announce the hiring of Jared Polens as our new Kitchen Manager. Jared spent 21 years at Wild Oats in Williamstown and was also the cook and baker at Bascom Lodge a top of Mt. Greylock. He brings a great knowledge of improvisational cooking skills along with a detailed focus on nutrition. I feel this is a perfect match for us and look forward to a long time partnership.
As the cold season approaches we know that our services will increase as folks struggle to pay for the high cost of fuel for their homes. I am at a loss at how some of these families will survive. If you can help in any way we would appreciate any and all donations
To volunteer please feel free to call Jared at 664-7378. To make a donation you can use paypal by visiting our website at www.berkshirefoodproject.org or to send a donation the address is The Berkshire Food Project at PO Box 65, North Adams MA. 01247. Please know that every little bit counts.