Rachel’s Table donates 60 turkeys to Franklin County Community Meals Program

  • People who went to the Orange Food Pantry on Wednesday were offered the usual pantry items, as well as a turkey donated by Rachel’s Table. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/25/2021 3:03:02 PM
Modified: 11/25/2021 3:02:47 PM

ORANGE — Thanks to a partnership with Rachel’s Table, the 30-year-old food rescue program of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, the Franklin County Community Meals Program distributed as many as 60 turkeys on Wednesday at its weekly Orange Food Pantry meal distribution.

Rachel Berggren, executive director of the Franklin County Community Meals Program, said that in addition to the regular food items for distribution — which is typically held on Thursdays at the pantry, but was moved to Wednesday this week because of the Thanksgiving holiday — a selection of “Thanksgiving fixings” was also available, including the turkeys purchased by Rachel’s Table.

“We wouldn’t have it without Rachel’s Table,” said Berggren. “The only way we can do the work we do is through community.”

The roughly 60 turkeys donated to the Franklin County Community Meals Program were among 1,327 turkeys delivered to 28 agencies feeding the hungry in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties, according to a Rachel’s Table press release. In 2020, Rachel’s Table distributed 1,310 turkeys.

Arnold’s Meats delivered the turkeys to area food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens, the release states. In addition to the Franklin County Community Meals Program, which operates food pantries and meal sites in Greenfield, Orange, Turners Falls and Northfield, recipients included the Springfield Rescue Mission, Community Survival Center and Amherst Survival Center. Additionally, The Gray House of Springfield received 100 full turkey dinners including stuffing, vegetables and fixings. Kosher turkeys were distributed to those in need who observe Jewish dietary laws.

“We recognize the financial challenges many families face this year, so we are truly thankful that we are able to help more households enjoy a traditional turkey for Thanksgiving,” Sarah Maniaci, associate director of Rachel’s Table, said in the release. “This year we are also thankful for our friends in the community who have helped us make the purchase and delivery of thousands of turkeys to families across the Pioneer Valley possible.”

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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