SOUTHWICK – In a recent newsletter from the Western Massachusetts Food Bank, it has been announced that there has been a change in their Brown Bag program.
The Western Massachusetts Food Bank will no longer be allowing distribution centers across Western Massachusetts to accept brown bag donations directly at the respective sites.
According to Chris Wojcik, the Marketing and Communications Manager for Western Massachusetts Food Bank, they have received some worries from seniors that in order to receive a brown bag donation, they would have to donate money to the jar at their specific distribution site.
Wojcik reassured the concerned individuals that there is no money required in order to receive a brown bag.
The decision to take the donations away from the distribution sites was to help correct any confusion.
“What we’re trying to do is clear up any confusion,” said Wojcik.
As the food came from the USDA, Wojcik said that the decision was also made to be in compliance with the USDA regulations.
However, in spite of the brown bag donations no longer being available at the distribution sites, Wojcik noted that donations can still be made online or mailed.
To donate online, people can go to foodbankwma.org/donate and that page will take the individuals directly to the donations page.
When mailing a donation, a check can be sent to: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
PO Box 160
Hatfield, MA 01038
The Brown Bag donations program provides free bags of healthy foods to elders who are eligible at their local senior center. The food items meet the senior’s specific dietary needs and have to be over the age of 55 and meet certain income guidelines.
Brown Bags are dropped off at all distribution sites on the second Tuesday of every month.
Southwick Council on Aging Director Cindy Sullivan just recently had a Council on Aging meeting with her board and discussed the situation. The Southwick Senior Center, located inside the town hall, is the distribution center for the town for brown bag donations.
“We will inform our seniors of that,” said Sullivan. “Communication is always important.”
According to Sullivan, she will encourage seniors to donate either by mail or online.