The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the food insecurity issue in Berkshire County. Once again, Berkshire Bounty has reoriented itself to better serve those in need. Born as Backyard Bounty in 2016, we started out as a simple backyard fruit picking and delivery operation. Due to the unpredictability of the local growing season, we then morphed into a food rescue non-profit collecting excess nutritious food from local supermarkets, farms and other food donors. With the emergence of COVID-19, our focus has once more shifted … to purchasing food from supermarkets, wholesalers and farms — though we still regularly collect excess food from supermarkets throughout the year.
We are grateful to all those who have donated time and/or money to Berkshire Bounty over the years, but particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our entire community is working together to support those affected, either as a direct result of the virus, or indirectly through job loss or otherwise. With your generosity we have been able to pivot and materially expand our impact in response to the changing environment.
So far this year, we have collected or purchased and distributed more than 55,000 pounds of nutritious food — substantially higher than the same period last year. We’re grateful for the opportunity to be able to fill even a small portion of the food needs of the exploding population of those who are food insecure … many for the first time in their lives.
As part of a groundswell coalition of non-profits, school districts, United Way and other organizations working together to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, Berkshire Bounty recently conceived and organized an appeal letter signed by 29 community leaders that appeared in the Berkshire Eagle, Berkshire Record (last issue before closing its doors) and Berkshire Edge. The letter asks for donations of time and/or money to local non-profits and other organizations that are working to meet the short-term immediate needs as well as the long-term recovery needs of those severely impacted by COVD-19. The letter asks that people help those who are helping others.