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Local restaurants help raise money for free meals for needy

GREENFIELD — The Franklin County Community Meals Program is working with local restaurants through the end of December to promote its Share the Bounty program with the County fundraising campaign.

In the Franklin County tradition of local businesses and individuals working together to address community needs, local diners are invited to make donations to the free meals program in specially marked envelopes at participating restaurants.

All contributions will directly support the program involving about 40 volunteer groups to serve five free community meals each week in Greenfield, Turners Falls and Orange. The program will serve more than 20,000 meals this year. In addition to offering meals, the program also operates two food pantries: one on the campus of Greenfield Community College for students and their families, and one in Orange that serves the greater county residents. The pantries now serve an average of 500 families each month.

Quoting a former program director, “We can’t solve the problem of hunger in our community but we can make a real difference in people’s lives.”

For each dollar received, the meals program can purchase $5 worth of fresh produce and pantry staples from the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Participating restaurants:

Brad’s Place, People’s Pint, Denny’s Pantry, Taylor’s Tavern, Magpie and Mesa Verde in Greenfield; Four Leaf Clover in Bernardston; Monarch’s, Hillside Pizza, Deerfield Academy food services and Chandler’s Tavern in Deerfield.

The nonprofit Franklin County Community Meals Program was established in 1984. Visit www.fccmp.org for further information.

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