CHICOPEE, Mass. - The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts hopes their move to Chicopee will put them in a better position to address the rise of food insecurity across the western part of the Commonwealth.
What You Need To Know
- The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts moved from its previous location in Hafield to Chicopee between August and September due to the surge in food insecurity across western Massachusetts
- The new location is twice the size of the former facility, has several more times the amount of frozen and refrigerated storage space, and is at the crossroads of major highways, Interstate 91 and the Mass Pike
- The food bank provides healthy food to around 92,000 people every month across Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire counties
- Hampden County has the largest population of people in need of food assistance between the four counties
The facility opened earlier this month, after leaving their old location in Hatfield in late August.
"Our new home is twice the size of our former facility," said executive director Andrew Morehouse. "We have three-times the amount of dry goods, frozen and refrigerated storage space, and we're at the crossroads of our major highways, interstate 91 and the Mass Pike."
Morehouse said the Chicopee location will not only help with food distribution for their employees, but donors and suppliers as well, getting food into the hands of people who need it most.
"Well, we're providing healthy food to around 92,000 people every month across all four counties of western Massachusetts," he said. "Of course here in Hampden County which has the largest population center and largest concentration of people in need of food assistance. But also to Franklin, Hampshire, and all of Berkshire Counties here in western Massachusetts."
Morehouse said the rise of food insecurity since the pandemic grew to a point where their old facility no longer had the space required to meet the needs of the community.
"Literally in the past, up in Hatfield, we had to turn away hundreds of thousands of pounds of food particularly during the pandemic because we did have enough storage space to receive it and store it," Morehouse said. "In this new facility, that won't be a problem."
Morehouse believes the Chicopee location will also help build stronger relationships with community partners, which should increase their overall service throughout western Massachusetts.