WESTFIELD-For city residents who are struggling to put food on their table, a new fund – Pay It Forward Food Fund – has been established by the Westfield Food Pantry.
“We are excited to announce our partnership with North Elm Butcher Block,” said Rebecca Hart, executive director, Westfield Food Pantry.
Hart noted that the Westfield Food Pantry has established a fund to provide groceries to Westfield residents, while supporting local business.
“We are grateful to be able to care for our neighbors in this time of need by putting your donations to work,” said Hart.
Starting May 4, residents can call North Elm Butcher Block directly to receive a pantry bag.
“Bags are distributed by the honor system,” said Hart. “If you call (413) 562-6759 or send an email or text to [email protected] and say you need food, you’ll get a bag of food.”
Pantry bags will include one pound of deli ham, one pound of American cheese, one pound of ground beef, a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs and bananas. Items are subject to change based on market availability.
“We ask that you only go once a month to ensure all of our neighbors can benefit from this donation,” said Hart, noting that once a call, text or email is placed, the recipient will receive a date and time to pick up the grocery bag at the store located at 37 North Elm St.
Hart is hopeful that with this fund about 100 families will be assisted with food each month, depending on donations.
“When helping others, help is often returned,” said Hart. “Customers of North Elm Butcher Block, and the general public, can add money to the fund by donating either directly to the North Elm Butcher Block, or to the Westfield Food Pantry, earmarked for this program.”
All money generated will be used for food bags, added Hart.
Checks can be mailed to 101 Meadow St., Westfield, MA 01085, or made via a website, www.westfieldfoodpantry.org.
For persons with questions about the new program, contact Hart via email to [email protected].
On a related note, Hart said the Westfield Food Pantry is still serving families with grocery home deliveries twice a week, and a Saturday night mobile food pantry with prepared meals is also ongoing.
“We have also converted the Little Free Library at the Episcopal Church of the Atonement on Court Street to a little free food pantry,” said Hart.
Overall, Hart said the organization is serving about 1,000 people each month in the city.
“Our goal with the fund is to support businesses, which pay people, which ultimately keeps people out of a food pantry,” said Hart. “Our mission is to eradicate hunger and poverty, not just provide food.”