PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire nonprofits teamed up Monday for a county-wide food distribution drive as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
"We see families cutting food out of their budget. They have to pay the rent, they have to pay health insurance, there are other things like that that are more fixed, and so food is often the first to go," said Candace Winkler, president and CEO of the Berkshire United Way.
Dozens of volunteers spent the weekend packing 19,000 pounds of food and dozens more helped hand out the bags at the Boys and Girls Club in Pittsfield Monday morning.
Berkshire United Way Volunteer Director Brenda Petell said they were overwhelmed by the amount of people wanting to help out.
"There are so many people that reached out to us as part of the MLK Day of Service looking for something to do. There are so many amazing people who are looking for volunteer experiences, even during this pandemic," said Petell.
One of those volunteers is Dorcas Ujiji. She said it's a way to give back to the community which helped her family in their times of need.
"I've been able to get food from services like this in times of need, and when things are really tough for my family it has helped, so always in the back of my mind I have it that once I'm able to help others and contribute, I'd be willing to," said Ujiji.
Berkshire United Way President Candace Winkler said they wanted to hold this event on MLK Day to honor his legacy of bringing communities together.
"We're here for you, we're your neighbors, we care about you. We want to make sure you and your families have food, and so that's what today is all about," said Winkler.