Food Security in Summer Months in Western MA

Food Security in Summer Months in Western MA

For children across America, the end of school means the end of book reports and spelling tests, and the end of school breakfast and lunch-their most reliable source of nutrition. In Western Massachusetts, 38,870 kids don’t always know where they will get their next meal. That’s one out of every five kids in the region. Across the country, more than 16 million children live in food insecure homes.

In the summer, these households that struggle to make ends meet all year long are faced with additional challenges. The meals children receive in school are not available and more families with children turn to their local pantries and meal sites to help fill this gap. As a result, these assistance sites can face increased strain on resources during the summer as they try their best to meet demand…

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Hilltown Families Field Trip to The Food Bank of Western MA

Field TripOn Saturday, Sept 15th, Hilltown Families partnered with The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts for a field trip that combined both service-based and community-based learning. Our field trip involved a tour of The Food Bank in Hatfield, MA, led by The Food Bank’s Education Coordinator, Molly Coon. Families got to see the facility up-close and learn how The Food Bank operates, who it serves and individuals can support their mission. The group played games to aid in the understanding of the concepts of hunger and could choose from two hands-on volunteer projects: sorting donations and preparations for The Food Bank’s upcoming fundraiser, “Will Bike 4 Food.”  Here’s a slide show from our visit:

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Interested in joining Hilltown Families on future service-based and/or community-based learning field trips? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com to be added to our list of interested families/groups.

Looking for resources to support child(ren)/student’s learning of hunger and food security?  Check these out:

What to organize a field trip for your group to the Food Bank?  Find out more in this post:

What else? Find out how you can donate in your community and fight hunger in your backyard with The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Hilltown Families Field Trip to The Food Bank of Western MA – Join Us!

Hilltown Families Field Trip
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
Saturday, September 15th at 1:30pm

Tour the warehouse, walk through the freezer, see the types of foods that are being sorted, and observe forklifts transporting pallets of food onto delivery trucks.   Play a trivia game following the tour to recall some of the key facts about how The Food Bank works. – Join Hilltown Families on Saturday, Sept. 15th at 1:30pm for an organized field trip to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in Hatfield, MA.

At the beginning of the summer we wrote about the benefits of families, schools and organizations taking an organized field trip The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in our post, Visit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts: A Community-Based Educational Field Trip for Kids. We mentioned that Hilltown Families would be organizing a field trip in September during Hunger Awareness Month and that groups and individuals are invited to join us.

We’ve set a date for our field trip: Saturday, September 15th at 1:30pm in Hatfield, MA!

Our field trip will involve a tour of the Food Bank in Hatfield, where 7.6 million pounds of food gets sorted every year!   Participating families/groups can see how the facility operates with pallets of food, the walk in freezer, forklifts and staff management.  Games as a group will be facilitated to aid in the understand of the concept of hunger, and there will be a hands-on volunteer project.  This is a free event, open to all!

If your family or youth group is interested in joining us, please sign up now.  We will need to know how many folks are joining us and the age range of the youth participants. Submit the information below and we will follow up with a confirmation and more details.

RELATED POSTS:

Q&A: 19 Children’s Books on Food Security/Scarcity

QUESTION AND ANSWERS


Do you have a favorite children’s book that touches on the topic of food security/scarcity you care to share? Hilltown Families is collaborating with The Food Bank of Western MA on compiling a list of kids books that have to do with fighting hunger, soup kitchens, food banks, etc. for their Youth Action Hunger program.

RECOMMEND A TITLE:

Publicly post any titles you’d like to recommend below, or submit it privately here:

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FIELD TRIP: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Visit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts:
A Community-Based Educational Field Trip for Kids

The Food Bank Warehouse in Hatfield, MA.

The summer or fall is a great time to bring your children to visit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, along with their friends, school groups or clubs to learn more about an organization that plays a BIG role in our communities.

There are 350 local organizations, including pantries, kitchens, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers, who rely on The Food Bank each week to provide groceries or meals to 15,000 residents in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden county.  Nearly one out of every four kids in Western Massachusetts, under the age of 18, receives food from The Food Bank.  If you teach your kids about food systems, include emergency food and consider a field trip to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

What happens on a field trip?

  • Tour the warehouse, walk through the freezer, see the types of foods that are being sorted, and observe forklifts transporting pallets of food onto delivery trucks.   Play a trivia game following the tour to recall some of the key facts about how The Food Bank works.
  • Participate in a facilitated activity to talk about what hunger can look like.  Where do we get our food from?  Where does it go to?  How many people struggle with affording groceries?  What are some of the ways everyone benefits from having a Food Bank?  Activities vary depending on the age of the group, from planning out a grocery store list given a limited amount of money, to reading a picture book, to answering true/false questions.  Check out the Youth Against Hunger Education Curriculum for more ideas.
  • Put your knowledge into action! Help The Food Bank with an on-site project or brainstorm a community service idea that you can do as a family after your visit.

How do I schedule a date?

  • The Food Bank is open Monday through Friday, 9-5pm.  Call ahead of time (413-247-9738 x114) to set up a day and time to visit.
  • Tours work best with groups of 6-20 people, and typically last 1-2 hours.   They ask there be an adult for every 5-8 kids.
  • The Food Bank is located at 97 North Hatfield Rd, exit 22 from 91N/ exit 23 from 91S.
  • Please wear closed toe shoes or sneakers.
  • For groups 16 and older, ask them about volunteering as part of your visit.

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