Everyone deserves to be free of hunger, which is not just about lack of food but a shortage of nutritious food.
To hopefully make a difference in the communities we serve, all FCU branches are conducting a food drive supporting The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts through Sept. 28.
“We are a humble and proud partner on this initiative with The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and I am consistently inspired by the generosity I see when we work together on these food drives,” said Glenn Welch, our President and CEO. “We have employees, board members and members who will graciously donate as much as they possibly can to help those in need throughout the area.”
Boxes to donate non-perishable food items and personal care items will be at every FCU branch. Donations will be distributed to nonprofit organizations such as food pantries, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and youth programs in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts delivers over 9 million pounds of food each year that serves more than 220,000 people.
Some of the most-needed food items include hot and cold cereal, dried pasta and noodles, canned beans, chicken, fruit, tuna and evaporated milk. Food items that come in a glass jar will not be accepted nor will homemade or unlabeled products, severely dented cans, ripped packaging and baby foods. Personal care items that can be donated include diapers, shampoo, toilet paper and toothpaste.
Families that experience hunger, or are at risk of it, are likely to be malnourished due to limited access to nutritious foods. Hunger takes its toll on lower-income communities through higher rates of diet-related diseases such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. A diet that consists of foods with low nutrient density tends to be higher in sugar and sodium and lower in protein, fiber and vitamins.
Children especially face long-term consequences due to hunger and lack of nutritious food including increased rates of impaired cognitive and brain development, lowered immune response, short stature and obesity. Studies similarly show that malnourished seniors experience more frequent, prolonged hospital stays and a higher rate of complications.