Meals program seeks continued support to meet $10K fundraising goal

  • An activity during the Franklin County Community Meals Program’s July 31 “Walk-to-Thank” event at Greenfield High School, where attendees wrote the ways hunger affects everyone and the role they will play in ending hunger. Contributed Photo/Rachel Berggren

  • Franklin County Community Meals Program members take part in the July 31 “Walk-to-Thank” event at Greenfield High School. From left, board member Fardeen Chowdhury, Executive Director Rachel Berggren, board member Mary Bell, board Treasurer Caryl Connor, board member Deb Klein, board President Marian Boyd and board member Barbara Zanca. Contributed Photo/Rachel Berggren

Staff Writer
Published: 8/17/2021 4:18:20 PM

Community members helped shine a spotlight on the local business community that has helped the Franklin County Community Meals Program combat hunger, all while collecting $5,200 toward a $10,000 goal throughout the month of July.

Now the nonprofit hunger relief organization is seeking continued support to reach its goal. Donations, which all support free meals programs for those in need, can be mailed to P.O. Box 172, Greenfield, MA 01301 or submitted online at fccmp.org/donate.

The Franklin County Community Meals Program operates three free meal sites, two food pantries and a mobile food bank. Executive Director Rachel Berggren said the meals program was created to address food insecurity more than 30 years ago, which it has done in part through partnerships with local businesses.

“However, during COVID-19, this model became more crucial and it became starkly apparent how important cross-sectoral partnerships are in addressing crises in a community,” Berggren said. “As such, FCCMP created a fundraiser to recognize the business community and thank them for their involvement in addressing hunger.”

As part of the month-long “Walk-to-Thank” challenge in July, individuals and teams went from business to business thanking them for their commitment to community. Participants took selfies and posted them on social media to help raise awareness of the Franklin County Community Meals Program’s mission and of the businesses themselves. For each business visited, Greenfield Savings Bank donated $1.

To further incentivize people to visit local businesses, Greenfield Savings Bank committed to donating $500 in the name of the first person who visited all 108 “FCCMP Community Supporters” on the list. This challenge was answered by Walter and Marian Boyd, who visited all 108 businesses over the course of the month. As president of the Franklin County Community Meals Program’s board of directors, Marian Boyd is deeply dedicated to the work the program does and would not let this challenge go unanswered, Berggren said.

Berggren encourages people to keep an eye out for the green “FCCMP Community Supporter” window decal posted in the windows of 108 businesses across Franklin County.

“Even though the event has ended, the community should continue to celebrate the local businesses and the interconnectedness that makes Franklin County such a special place to live, work and build community,” she said.

For more information, contact Berggren at fccmp.ma@gmail.com or 413-772-1033.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com.


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