The Franklin County Community Meals Program is an invaluable non-profit in our area. Together with the local community, they work to alleviate hunger. They organize four meal sites in Orange, Turners Falls, Greenfield, and Northfield, Massachusetts, as well as three food pantries: the Orange Food Pantry, the Greenfield Community College Food Pantry, and the Turners Falls Mobile Food Bank.
The story of Franklin County Community Meals Program starts in March 1984 when members of the Social Justice Group at All Souls Unitarian Church saw a need in the community for free meals and a social connection. They started a program which worked in partnership with social and religious organizations where they would provide sit-down meals through the use of community and church kitchens and dining halls. The first community meal was served in July 1984. Since then, this group has evolved into a non-profit organization with a board of directors and an executive director.
Additional pantries and food banks have been added over the years. More recently in 2018, the Mobile Food Bank was established. This program operates on the third Wednesday every month, distributing over 2500 pounds of food to an average of 200 people.
The Franklin County Community Meals Program relies on its volunteer groups and individual volunteers, as well as donations, to be able to continue realizing its mission. You can get involved by applying to volunteer or making a donation through their website.
If you are seeking the services of the Franklin County Community Meals Program, you will also find information on their website about where and when to go to find free community meals and food banks.
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Photo by Julia M Cameron