This chart shows the monthly totals for visits to the Friendship Center Food Pantry for every month since we opened in February, 2011, to August, 2013. 2011 is illustrated in pencil; 2012 in blue ink and 2013 in red. The 2013 September resullts, which just came in with Wednesday’s totals, are 582 in four weeks. This compares to the total households served during September 2012, 558 in four weeks. This is in keeping with us running at somewhat higher numbers over last year but not greatly so.
This week we trucked in and unloaded thousands of pounds of food to feed hundreds of people. We also offered a new service for the first time: the presence of a nurse.
On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the Friendship Center Food Pantry served 135 families in its 10 to 2 session and a whopping 67 families in its 4 to 6 session for a record total of 202 families served for the day.
Our previous record for one day was 186, which we achieved once. Treasurer and pantry evening shift supervisor Stuart Crampton said, “It was a bit too much but not much too much....We ran out of many, many things, but everyone got quite a lot. Less produce than last week, but we had two good looking beets left.”
We also signed up 13 new members. We now have served in 2.5 years of operation more than 1,400 families in North Adams, Clarksburg, and Florida.
Our volunteers are wonderful and continue to amaze.
Also on Wednesday, Amanda Chilson of Mass in Motion visited to offer healthy food samples from the types of foods we offer at the pantry. We also have a pretty consistent presence at the pantry from The Family Place, another intiative that has grown out of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.
In an extremetly exciting development, nurse Barbara Cariddi came to the Eagle Street Room, where we sign people in for the food pantry and they fill out their menus, to offered people blood pressure checks, other screeenings and information about programs such as Ecu Health Care.
Barbara will be visiting frequently and at some point will offer flu shots as well.
Anyone who wishes to help us to continue to do what we do is encouraged to take part in our benefit clothing sale. Here is the announcement I sent out for the bulletins of houses of worship this week:
Benefit Clothing Sale Seeks Donations: The second annual Friendship Center Food Pantry Benefit Clothing Sale will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, at All Saints Episcopal Church hall (located next to the North Adams Post Office) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Organizers are seeking donations of all types of clothes and particularly children’s clothes and winter clothes. Donations may be dropped off at the offices of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition 61 Main St., Suite 218, North Adams between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.; at the Friendship Center Food Pantry between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, or you may call Mark at 664-0130 and leave a message to arrange pick-up. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the food pantry, which in 2.5 years of operation has served more than 1,400 households in North Adams, Clarksburg and Florida.
Hope to see you at the sale!
Amanda Chilson of Mass in Motion offered a crock pot of health soup and more information about healthy eating choices. Below, we offered apples at the Friendship Center itself.