Berkshire banks collects more than 10,000 pounds of food for local pantries

Date: 10/25/2012

PITTSFIELD – Berkshire Bank announced on Oct. 12 that it collected more than 10,000 pounds of food and nearly $500 to support more than 50 local food pantries as part of its fifth annual company-wide food drive.

The drive ran from Sept. 10 to 28 in connection with National Hunger Action Month. Both employees and customers donated non-perishable food items in support of this effort. Each Berkshire Bank office teamed up with a local food pantry or food bank in their community to ensure the food they collected helped those directly affected by hunger in the local area. In all, 56 food pantries received donations from Berkshire Bank totaling an estimated 10,350 pounds of food.

Berkshire Bank has its annual food drive each September as part of National Hunger Action Month. According to local food banks and pantries in the area, one in ten people in the bank's market area of Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont struggle to put a meal on the table or have to choose between paying a bill and feeding their family. Need for food items this year exceeded previous years in light of current economic conditions.

The Food Drive is only one of many projects that are part of the bank's Employee Volunteer Program, which carries out community service projects in communities served by the bank. Annually, over 50 percent of the bank's employees participate in community service volunteer projects and programs, and they contributed more than 26,000 hours of service in 2011.

The Employee Volunteer Program is another way the bank demonstrates its commitment to the communities in which it does business in addition to the $1.5 million dollars it awards annually to nonprofit organizations.