- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for Berkshire County Courts and Community Justice Support Center host County-wide Food and Supply Drive
Coria Holland, Communications Director
The Berkshire County courts and the Community Justice Support Center are hosting three separate Food and Supply Drives to benefit non-profit agencies across the county as part of the Massachusetts Trial Court’s statewide 5th annual Cultural Appreciation Week 2021 (CAW), October 18-22. The idea for a statewide food and supply drive was introduced by Berkshire County court staff last year during the height of the Pandemic.
The week-long Cultural Appreciation Week celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion in the courts and communities throughout the Commonwealth. This year's theme is “Justice, Culture, and Community: This is Your Trial Court.”
The Berkshire courts and center are among the more than 70 state courts, court offices, and departments that are hosting food and supply drives across the Commonwealth. This statewide event—believed to be the largest of its kind in the country— will take place through October 22. Last year’s statewide drive resulted in the collection of more than 15 tons of food which was donated to food pantries and charitable organizations throughout the state.
The food and supply drive was launched last year during the Pandemic when organizers of the week’s activities decided to help those who were experiencing “food insecurity.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as "a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level.” Thirty percent—1.6 million—of adults in Massachusetts do not know where their next meal is coming from. One in five children in the state live in food insecure homes, according to Feeding America.
Southern Berkshire District Court’s month-long Food Drive, kicked off on October 4, and will support Multicultural BRIDGE (Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups and Education) in Lee; the Lenox Ecumenical Food Pantry(Lenox); and The People’s Pantry (Great Barrington).
The Berkshire County Court Complex’s Food and Supply Drive--hosted by Central Berkshire, Superior, and Probate & Family courts as well as the Berkshire Community Justice Support Center — will benefit the St. Joseph's Food Pantry and the Elizabeth Freeman Center in Pittsfield.
Northern Berkshire District Court's Food Drive items will be donated to the Louison House to support the agency’s temporary housing and motel site. Last year, Northern Berkshire collected nearly 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food which was donated to the Al Nelson Friendship Center.
Non-perishable food and supplies may be dropped off at the following locations:
Southern Berkshire District Court
Southern Berkshire District Court, 9 Gilmore Avenue in Great Barrington, will have bins set up for donated food and supplies underneath a tent in the parking lot. The collection will take place through Friday, October 22, from 9 am to 4 pm. The court is also hosting a "Touch a Truck" event on Friday, October 22, from 1 to 4PM. This event will feature free ice cream donated by SoCo Creamery, baby car seat installations, and local first responders.
Suggested donations: canned soups, beans, tuna and chicken; peanut butter and jelly; dried beans; tortillas- corn & flour; grits; and salsa.
Berkshire County Court Complex
Berkshire County Court Complex, 76 East Street, in Pittsfield. Bins will be set up in front of the complex through October 22nd, from 10 am to 3 pm.
Suggested donations: non-perishable food, clothing and supplies such as hair conditioner, body wash, bed pillows (standard), crib sheets, diapers, especially size 1 for newborns, diapers wipes, cleaning supplies/disinfectant, Journals, Pop-up laundry baskets, Microwave Mac and cheese cups, 100 percent juice packs, brooms and dust pans, small trash barrels, and band-aids and antibiotic ointment.
Northern Berkshire District Court
Northern Berkshire District Court, 111 Holden Street, North Adams. Non-perishable items will be collected in bins which will be set up under a tent adjacent to the Mass MOCA parking lot at 111 Holden Street, in North Adams. Donations may be dropped off through Friday, October 22, from 9 am to 4 pm.
Suggested donations: canned food, pasta, dried beans, rice.