Donation to allow for second to-go meals at Orange site through March 18

  • Franklin County Community Meals Program Executive Director Rachel Berggren and Hillside Organic Catering co-owner Patrick O’Hearn outside the rear entrance to the Orange Armory, where hot meals and packaged foods are handed out on Thursdays from 5 to 5:30 p.m. Staff Photo/Zack DeLuca

  • Hillside Organic Catering has partnered with the Franklin County Community Meals Program to provide hot, prepared meals at the Orange Armory each Thursday. Last week involved pulled pork macaroni and cheese with a side salad for 50 people. Thanks to a $1,000 donation, a second meal will be provided on Thursdays through March 18. Staff Photo/Zack DeLuca

  • Hillside Organic Catering has partnered with the Franklin County Community Meals Program to provide hot, prepared meals at the Orange Armory each Thursday. Last week involved pulled pork macaroni and cheese with a side salad for 50 people. Thanks to a $1,000 donation, a second meal will be provided on Thursdays through March 18. Staff Photo/Zack DeLuca

Staff Writer
Published: 2/18/2021 2:06:08 PM

ORANGE — Thanks to a $1,000 donation, the Franklin County Community Meals Program will temporarily provide a second to-go meal during weekly Thursday distributions at its Orange meal site.

After hearing about a new partnership that sees Hillside Organic Catering providing hot meals for distribution at the Orange Armory at 135 East Main St., Anna Littelhale de Roode made a $1,000 donation to supplement this service. The 84-year-old Bernardston resident said she was “deeply moved” by the gratitude of the Thursday meal recipients, some of whom are veterans. She said she considers herself an “ordinary person” who has “all that (she) needs and more,” and felt compelled to share.

“These are our neighbors,” Littelhale de Roode said. “I know what it’s like to live through tough economic times, to be worried about how to pay the bills, and afraid of what the future holds.”

The gift of $1,000 will support Hillside Organic Catering in providing a second, supplemental weekly meal for roughly 50 recipients to take home and re-heat in the days following Thursday’s pick-up. The Franklin County Community Meals Program will provide this additional meal each week through March 18.

Executive Director Rachel Berggren said the Franklin County Community Meals Program is grateful for the donation and investment to provide the supplemental meals. However, moving forward, Berggren said donations will be put toward ensuring continuation of the “primary” Thursday meal in Orange. She said the goal is to provide meals for as long as possible.

Anyone who wishes to “sponsor” a weekly meal by donating toward the cost, either in support of Hillside Organic Catering, the Franklin County Community Meals Program or both, can contact Berggren at fccmp.ma@gmail.com or 413-772-1033.

Meals are served on a first-come, first-served basis between 5 and 5:30 p.m. each Thursday at the Orange Armory, and anyone is eligible. The Franklin County Community Meals Program also operates meal sites at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m., and at Our Lady of Peace Church in Turners Falls on Mondays from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Those who are in need of food but do not have the ability to get to the Orange Armory can also contact Berggren to discuss possible delivery within Orange, as well as ask questions related to the meals and dietary restrictions.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.

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