Franklin County Community Meals Program
“Give With Your Heart to the Community Meals”
Breakfast and Service Auction
to benefit the
Franklin County Community Meals Program
This year’s auction is dedicated to the memory of
a long-time and beloved FCCMP Board member!
Tuesday, March 19th, 7:30 – 9:00 A.M.
Deerfield Academy Dining Hall
(snow date, March 20th; same time/place)
New England Maple Syrup Breakfast – tickets only $5!!
Please call 772-1033 to reserve yours today.
View a few of the
beuatiful auction items in the Photo Gallery!
We are a United Way Partner agency
We will be holding our semi-annual food drive on Sat., Feb. 2nd.
Curt and Zachary Rand of Kimball-Cooke Insurance Agency present the Orange Food Pantry with a check for $1,000 from Arbella Insurance, to be used to stock the Orange Food Pantry shelves with food for 2013. Kimball-Cooke Agency made an initial gift of $333 to the Pantry, prompting Arbella's additional donation. According to FCCMP Executive Director Amy Clarke, "We expect that the Orange Food Pantry will surpass 5,000 visits in 2013 for the first time ever, and we rely on generous gifts like this to keep up with the ever-growing need for food."
Congratulations to Castine Moving & Storage - of Athol, MA for being honored as the Mover of the Month for November 2012.
Castine Moving and Storage, of Athol, partnered with the Move for Hunger Program to hold a food drive at Hannaford’s in Orange, Massachusetts from November 12-17. They asked their community to come by Hannaford’s and donate unopened, non-perishable food items. Since the collection boxes were right outside of the grocery store, it gave community members an easy way to make a donation.
When all was said and done, Castine Movers donated their time and resources to move 526 pounds of food to the Orange Food Pantry. That’s enough food to put 404 meals on the tables of local families in need during the holiday season.
With over 500,000 people in Massachusetts struggling to put food on the table every day, this food drive was a great help in providing aid to those in need during the holiday season.
Castine Movers joined Move For Hunger in March of 2011, and like many of the movers in the program, it took a while to get things up and running, but after working with Move For Hunger's team to adapt the program into their daily routine they have been delivering food every single month to the Orange Food Pantry since November of 2011.
In just one year's time, Castine has delivered 14 donations equaling over 1,291 pounds of food! This is enough food to provide over 993 meals.
Ever since joining Move For Hunger, the crew at Castine was determined to hold a large food drive in their
home town. In November, they put together a food drive at the Hannfords Food Store in Orange that was able to bring in over a quarter of a ton of food the Orange Food Pantry.
Please consider making a $12.00 or larger donation on 12.12.12 to support the important and very needed work of Franklin County Community Meals Program.
A donation of $12.00 will provide 6 hot meals at one of our meal sites.
A donation of $50.00 will buy 250 pounds of food from the Food Bank of Western MA to fill our pantry shelves.
The folks at our Greenfield meal site will be very excited tomorrow; a very kind person has donated a two-foot wide box of Whitman's Chocolates to be served along with dessert!
The holidays are upon us, and FCCMP receives calls daily from folks who want to help serve a meal over the holidays or donate some extra food to our Pantries.
Donations in support of FCCMP can now be scheduled for "Valley Gives"!
Valley Gives is a one-of-a-kind celebration of generosity for western Massachusetts.
We won $100.00 in the Yankee Candle Company Christmas Tree Decorating Competition!
Thanks to our YCC Community Meal serving group and to everyone who took time to vote for us.
Sam and Cooper Whitney and our winning tree!
Yankee Candle Company employees have an annual Tree Decorating Competition which runs during the week of Thanksgiving. The trees will be displayed on the porch of the YCC Flagship Store in South Deerfield.
Each group of employees gets to identify a charity which will be the recipient of any prize that the group wins. The employee group that serves at the FCCMP meal in Greenfield has identified FCCMP as their charity. Our group is going to decorate their tree as a "spaghetti dinner."
The cash prizes are $500, $250 and $100. The winning groups will be decided by popular public vote. The voting will take place on Nov. 24th and 25th.
Franklin County Community Meals Program recently received a $7000.00 grant from Project Bread, the state’s leading anti-hunger organization.
Project Bread has awarded $193,575 in grants to emergency food programs throughout Western Massachusetts, through funds raised by the 44th annual Walk for Hunger.
About Project Bread
Project Bread is dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts. Through The Walk for Hunger, the oldest continual pledge walk in the country, and other sources, Project Bread provides millions of dollars each year in privately donated funds to support hunger relief through emergency programs, schools, community health centers, farmers’ markets, community suppers, home care organizations, and other programs that protect the individual and strengthen community food security. For more information, visitwww.projectbread.org.
Fund raiser kicks-off on November 15th!
Share the Bounty with the County
Please support these great area restaurants by dining out between November 15th and December 30th and help feed the hungry in our community by leaving a few extra dollars when you do!
The People’s Pint Manna House Bridgeside Grill
Four Leaf Clover Brad’s Place Mesa Verde
Taylor’s Tavern Magpie Pizza Brick Wall Burger
Denny’s Pantry Hillside Pizza Christina’s Pizzeria
Greenfield Grille Monarch’s
A big "Thank You" to the GCC Education Club - BLOKs (Building the Lives of Kids) students for collecting close to 5 boxes of infant and toddler food, diapers, wipes, and books for the Greenfield Community College Food Pantry in just two short weeks! Advocacy on behalf of our youngest citizens is a wonderful event to witness! Thank you to everyone who supported their drive.
Visit the Photo Gallery for larger images.
ValleyGives is a 24 hour e-philanthropy event to encourage residents in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties to contribute to their favorite nonprofit organizations. Visitwww.valleygivesday.org.
Valley Gives is a one-of-a-kind celebration of generosity for western Massachusetts. On 12.12.12 residents of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties will join together for 24 hours in special events and online campaigns with the goal of getting thousands of Valley residents to make gifts to their favorite charities.
In a single day we hope to raise many thousands of dollars to support the important nonprofits working in many fields – human services, arts, education, environment, health, culture, to make our region an amazing place to live. Every gift will have greater impact as participating non-profits will be eligible on that day for special cash awards that will go directly to fund their good work.
In cooperation with The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, FCCMP recently completed "Inter-generational Community Meals", a series of classes to teach participants how to plan, budget, shop of and prepare healthy, low-cost meals.
Visit the Photo Gallery for larger images.
A very special guest attended the Greenfield Meal at the Second Congregational Church on July 10. Before the meal, Reverend Armand Proulx, the retiring minister of our host church, was recongnized for his many years of support of the Franklin County Community Meals Program. Over the years, Amand has made himself readily available to many of our diners who needed someone to lend them an ear or provide a shoulder for them to lean on.
We wish Amand and his wife, Jeanne Douillard, the very best in this new phase of their lives!
The Rev. Armand Proulx and his wife, Jeanne Douillard
admiring his "retirement" cake at the Greenfield Meal.
The vaccuum cleaner at our pantry in Orange is on its "last leg"; duct tape has done all that it can do! If you have a "spare" vacuum that you can donate, we would be most appreciative!
Legendary editor Judith Jones helped to create the cookbooks that shaped the American culinary awakening of the last half century. At 4:00 p.m. on April 25 in the GCC Library, she will talk about her groundbreaking work with James Beard, Julia Child and many other great cooks and writers.
The talk is free and open to the public. Donations of cash or food for the GCC Food Pantry will be gratefully accepted. A donation of $5.00 will purchase 25 pounds of food for the GCC Food Pantry.
Click here for a poster of the event: Teaching America to Cook
This year's event will be held on April the 10th. Once again, the residents and businesses in the Orange/Athol area will be very generously opening their hearts and wallets for the six participating agencies.
Please join us if you can!
Thanks once again to all of our very generous sponsors/underwriters, gift donators and bidders. This year's event raised $9000.00 to support the programs of Franklin County Community Meals Program.
The Kimball-Cooke Insurance Agency participated in the "Let's Drive Out Hunger" program offered by the Arbella Insurance Group to assist local food pantries. Together, Kimball-Cooke and Arbella donated $750 to the Franklin County Community Meals Program. Pictured here is Curt Rand, presenting the donation to FCCMP Executive Director, Amy Clarke. The agency encourages all members of the Orange-Athol community to support local food pantries through the Food-a-Thon on April 10th!
Please join us for our Annual Breakfast and Auction held in the Parker Room of the Deerfield Academy Dining Hall on March 20, 2012. Breakfast will be served beginning at 7:30 with the Auction to shortly follow. There will be loads of products, art, crafts and services going to the highest bidder!
It all benefits a great cause!
Click here for: Auction sponsors and items
A big "thank you" to Women's Way-United Way of Franklin County which held its "Supper for Six" event at Stoneleigh-Burnham School this past Thursday, Feb. 16th. Over 320 reusable shopping bags filled with non-perishable food were collected for distribution through the food pantries of The Center for Self Reliance (Greenfield and West County) and the Franklin County Community Meals Program (Orange).
Due to a "miscommunication", we didn't get on the fund-raiser calendar at Stop and Shop for this coming Saturday.
Therefore, we would love for our friends and supporters to drop by Foster's Market between 10:00 and 2:30 to see us!
Long time supporters of FCCMP from the First Church of Deerfield deliver 2,532 items to the Orange Food pantry just in time for Thanksgiving! The church recruited additional help collecting food from Deerfield Elementary School, Bement School, Deerfield Academy, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, and Foster's Market. The day after the food was delivered, 153 families came to the Orange Pantry for food, and the food from this food drive is what got us through the day.
We had a wonderful time marching in this year's parade! It is very encouraging to be so well supported by the community.
Fill the Monster Truck Food Drive was a huge success! A very big "Thank You" to Pete's Tire Barns for their support in sponsoring the drive. Our pantry shelves were re-stocked by all of the donations that participants in the drive provided.
A big "Thank You" to the many businesses and individuals who donated food items during this year's event. The shelves of the participating pantries were re-stocked at a time of great need by the community!
The 2011 Orange/Athol Food-a-thon held on April the 12th was a huge success. The residents and businesses in the Orange/Athol area once again very generously opened their hearts and wallets to set a new cash donation record of $36,314.24 to be divided among the six participating agencies. The FCCMP Pantry's share of the food donations came to 3213 items.
A big "Thank You" to all who participated!
Thanks so much to everyone who helped to make our recent auction such a huge success; our sponsors, the auction item donors and the generous bidders.
On February the 16th, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the "soon to open" food pantry at Greenfield Community College. This new program is a joint effort of FCCMP and GCC to address the needs of students and staff at the college.
The New Food Pantry at Greenfield Community College
At Foster's Market and Stop & Shop in Greenfield and Food City in Turners Falls, we collected $337.79 in cash and enough food to fill more than 2 pick-up trucks!
While the food was being unloaded at the FCCMP Pantry in Orange, Boy Scott Troop 1837 arrived with 40 grocery bags full of food, $130.00 in cash and $370 worth of Hanaford gift cards.
We raised over $3,053.87 through the generosity of diners at participating restaurants and students at Deerfield Academy.
Magpie Pizza and The People's Pint tied for "Top Fundraiser". Thanks to all of the following restaurants:
Bernardston - Four Leaf Clover Restaurant
Gill - Wagon Wheel Restaurant
Greenfield - Brad's Place, Denny's Pantry, Greenfield Grille, Magpie Pizza, Taylor's Tavern, The Peoples' Pint
Turners Falls - The Rendezvous
Orange/Athol - Eddie's, Johnson's Farm and Sharon's White Cloud
The Community Service Club at Deerfield Academy has been helping FCCMP this year by making bagged lunches given out at the Wednesday meals. This helps people make it through the end of the week. The Club has done this a number of times during the year. Thank you so much!
A total of $29,946.35 was raised for FCCMP. Thanks to everyone!
Franklin County Community Meals Program
8th Annual Breakfast and Celebrity Auction
was a Great Success!
MANY THANKS to all those who came to support our program and help feed the growing number of hungry families in Franklin County.
We especially thank The Hammond Family for underwriting all the expenses of our breakfast; THE RECORDER for providing publicity and advertising support for this event and all others; and WHAI / BEAR Country for publicizing the Auction and more importantly for lending us our fantastic Auctioneer ~
Please support these generous businesses which covered all other Auction-related expenses:
GREENFIELD COOPERATIVE BANK
BANK OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC CO.
MOWRY AND SCHMIDT
INK AND PAINT
We are grateful to all these local celebrities and businesses, who donated goods or services because they know how important it is to feed the hungry in our community:
Rep. Chris Donelan
Danielle Fridyma Andy Rothschild
Mayor Bill Martin
Todd B. Clark
WHAI and Jay Fidanza
Gfld. Garden Club
The Wine Rack
Greenfield Garden Cinemas
Cynthia Carr Kramer
Ryan and Casey Liquors
Jennifer and Tom Bete Brown
Marty & Jan McGuane
Doug and Amy Clarke
Hope and Olive
The Brandt House
Richard Odman/NMH School
Artisticly Stoned Designs
Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters
Country Club of Greenfield
Archie & Phyllis Nahman
Green Field Market
Deerfield Academy Community Service Clu
Please visit our web-site at www.fccmp.org
The totals are in - 2009 Share the Bounty raised $2,915.92! The top fundraiser was (for the second year in a row) The Mohawk Diner in Shelburne! People's Pint was second with Taylor's Tavern third. Thanks to all the restaurants who participated and all who gave so generously!
The Souper Bowl was very successful for FCCMP! In the end, 1500 pounds of food were collected and along with over $350. Thanks to all who collected and all who gave! And the timing of the collection was wonderful as the Food Bank was closed the week after the Souper Bowl and the Orange Food Pantry was not able to stock the shelves. They would have had to close without the Souper Bowl food!
The non-traditional Holiday Sale at First Church netted FCCMP $190. Thank you to all who participated!
“At the working man's house hunger looks in but dares not enter.” -Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Poor Richard's Almanac
Why is this big man holding this little envelope?
It’s Share the Bounty with the County time at local restaurants, and hungry families in our community need you to contribute generously. A project of the Franklin County Community Meals Program, Share the Bounty invites diners to leave a dollar or two in a specially-marked envelope when they dine out during the holiday season.
All contributions will help to provide free meals five evenings each week in Greenfield, Turners Falls, and Orange, and to provide food to individuals and families through the Orange Food Pantry. Last year, FCCMP served 18,655 free meals across the county, and gave away enough food to feed 13,492 people for 3 – 5 days each at the Orange Food Pantry. According to program Director, Amy Clarke, “Last year was a record-breaking year for us, but it’s not such a good thing to break records when you’re in the emergency food business. Two weeks ago, for the first time in years, we had to close the Pantry a half hour early because we just ran out of food.”
“The Share the Bounty campaign raised over $3,500 for our program last year”, said Board President, Todd Clark. “We count on those funds to buy food throughout the winter.”
Participating Share the Bounty restaurants include last year’s top fund-raiser, the Mohawk Diner. Also in the Greenfield area, generous supporters include the People’s Pint, Denny’s Pantry, Brad’s Place, the Four Leaf Clover, Taylor’s Tavern, the Wagon Wheel, and for the first time, the Greenfield Grille, the Gill Tavern, and the Rendezvous. There are also canisters for donations in Excelsior Pizza, Bart’s and Café Siren. In the Orange/Athol area, our very enthusiastic restaurants include Sharon’s White Cloud, Johnson’s Farm, and Eddie’s. The campaign will continue through the month of December.
For more information about FCCMP, please call program Director Amy Clarke at 772-1033, or if you are unable to patronize participating restaurants but would like to make a donation, it may be sent to FCCMP, P.O. Box 172, Greenfield, MA 01302. FCCMP is a United Way partner agency.
Participating Share the Bounty restaurants are the following:
In the Greenfield area:
The Mohawk Diner (Shelburne)
The People’s Pint
The Four Leaf Clover (Bernardston)
The Wagon Wheel (Gill)
The Greenfield Grille
The Gill Tavern (Gill)
The Rendezvous (Turners Falls)
There are also canisters for donations at the following locations:
In the Orange/Athol area:
Sharon’s White Cloud
The campaign will continue through the month of December. Please support FCCMP!
Thank you to all who contributed at Foster's and Food City. There was a great assortment of food - staples such as cereal, soup, peanut butter, and stew - as well as monetary contributions. Every little bit helps and we appreciate all the donations!
The concert was held on Sunday, October 4th at 4:00 p.m. All donations from the concert went to FCCMP! Thank you to all for helping us help those who are hungry!
The Pie sale at the polls earned $282.05! Thanks to all who contributed and all who bought!
Hope and Olive hosted a very successful fund raiser for FCCMP on Monday, June 1, 2009. The food was wonderful, and the people attending were very generous. The total collected was $1,825! Thanks to all who donated food and raffle items, worked at the fund raiser, all who attended, and to Hope and Olive.
"Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,— Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me." - James Russell Lowell
Hope and Olive Thank You!
FranklinCountyCommunity Meals Program
Soup and Game Night
Thank You… to the owners and staff of Hope and Olive for unselfishly donating their time, their restaurant, and some really delicious soup!
Thank You…to the Recorder, for publicizing this event and so many others for us throughout the year!
Thank You… to our Generous Soup and Bread Chefs:
Stoneleigh-BurnhamSchool El Jardin Bakery
Bement School Greenfield’s Market
EaglebrookSchool Bread Euphoria
Your Mother’s Oven
Deck Peller, Carol Lebo, and Margaret VanBaaren of
Pierce Brothers for their excellent Coffee
Thank You… to Foster’s and GreenfieldFarmer’s Cooperative Exchange for gift certificates, to WRSI for sponsorship of all of Hope and Olive’s Soup and Game Nights,
and to all of our generous supporters.
Thanks to you, we raised $1,825 to feed hungry families in our community.
The 2009 FCCMP Auction was a big hit! Jay Fidanza was a terrific auctioneer, Deerfield Academy provided a wonderful space and a delicious breakfast, and lots of people donated items, worked at the auction, and gave generously. Thank you to all who participated!
Click Here to see our photos from the auction ... and we hope you'll join us next year!
Recorder, Tuesday, December 23, 2008
by RICHIE DAVIS Recorder Staff
An ice storm that paralyzed much of Franklin County a week and a half ago sent Amy Clarke to the Orange Food Pantry on a mission.
The power had gone out overnight, and Clarke -- director of the Franklin County Community Meals Program -- hit the road with several coolers to rescue 120 pounds of frozen ground beef and ground turkey. As she drove back toward Greenfield, she used her cell phone to call neighbors and anyplace she could think of with room in their freezer before homing in on the Franklin Area Survival Center in Turners Falls.
It was hardly an odd chore for Clarke, who will be honored today as the 26th Recorder Citizen of the Year at a Franklin County Chamber of Commerce breakfast at Deerfield Academy.
When a gas odor at Greenfield's Church Street Home one bitterly cold night last winter required an emergency evacuation of its eight senior residents, Clarke -- the president of the home's executive board -- was on the scene in a matter of minutes to help them stay calm, got a mini-van on the scene to take them to the police station to warm up until she could round up overnight accommodations at the Greenfield Inn.
When voters flocked to Greenfield High School for last month's national election, they found 60 pies on sale to benefit the community meals program -- a project dreamed up and supervised by Clarke.
'She's all over the place,' said Madison Circle neighbor Archie Nahman, one of numerous friends, neighbors and relatives who nominated the 54-year-old Greenfield native for the annual award. 'She touches everybody's life in this town and this county.'
Another former neighbor, Mark Dyer, said, 'At no point does she ever stand in a pulpit. She just gets it done quietly, and extremely effectively.'
When she was growing up just down the street, Dyer, Nahman and other residents in the tight-knit neighborhood remember Amy Sawyer going door to door with friends pulling a little red wagon piled with handmade potholders, Barbie clothes and other handicrafts to raise money for what was then Franklin County Public Hospital.
She also produced benefit shows in the backyard of her family's Madison Circle home, as a fundraiser, recalled her younger sister, Martha Folsom of Littleton. Folsom credited their parents, Robert and Nancy Sawyer, for instilling a love for giving.
Although Clarke constantly steps forward to chair various campaigns, her sister said, 'Her real joy is doing hands-on work and seeing the joy in the faces of people she's helping.'
Conway resident Phyllis Jeswald, who serves on the Community Meals board, added that Clarke 'works not only behind the scenes, but also on the front lines, picking up, delivering and distributing food through the Orange Food Pantry.'
As a teenager, she would walk in her 'candy-striper's' volunteer uniform to the hospital after school and on weekends.
Clarke, who as a child thought she might want to be a doctor and even had a lab set up in the basement, chaired Baystate Franklin Medical Center's 2006-2007 Second Century Capital Campaign community division, helping raise nearly $100,000, and she is a member of the hospital's Community Benefits Committee and is a corporator of the hospital.
She is also a founding member of the Women's Way of the United Way of Franklin County, which has provided backpacks, sneakers, pajama bags and other items to needy children in the community.
Her long list of service also includes being a member of Stoneleigh-Burnham School head's transition team, a corporator of the United Way of Franklin County, a volunteer for the Greenfield Community YMCA's annual Sustaining Campaign for Youth, a member of Greenfield's Second Congregational Church Council and the church's Church and Education Committee, as well as a grant reviewer for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
She's also been a Stoneleigh-Burnham trustee and a member of its head search committee, been a member of two pastoral search committees, served as secretary of the Greenfield Middle School Building Committee, chaired the board of Volunteers in Public Schools, volunteered at Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and for Federal Street School's Parent Teacher Organization, as well as been a member of Baystate Health Systems Performance Improvement Committee and its Community Health and Education Promotion Committee.
'It sounds much more impressive than it is when you just pile it together on a day-to-day basis,' says Clarke, who says she was 'stunned' when she was told she had been selected Citizen of the Year. The award comes with a $250 prize for her and $250 for the charity of her choice -- the Community Meals program.
Clarke has had the part-time meals job for six years, paid for 15 hours to coordinate the five weekly meals in Greenfield, Orange and Turners Falls and 12? hours to run the Orange Food Pantry with her neighbor, Lynn Page.
'How lucky I am to have that as my job, because if I was going to choose to do something as a volunteer, that's what I would choose to do,' said Clarke, who was a grant writer for the Greenfield schools for half a dozen years before that. 'It's great growing up in a town like this. It's like a storybook life around here, and that kind of grounds you.'
The horticulture graduate from the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School sees herself as a 'community helper here and there person,' for whom volunteering provides 'the biggest piece of my sense of self. As the oldest of five children of the woman who was the United Way of Franklin County's first woman president and a man who donated much of his time to the county's public hospital, Clarke explains, 'It's just a given -- I can't imagine not.'
Yet those who have watched Clarke and worked with her are clearly impressed. 'It would be hard to imagine walking in her shoes for a week, never mind a lifetime,' said Dyer in his nomination. And at the end of a project, added fellow school volunteer Linda Smith of Greenfield, Clarke sends hand-written thank-you notes to everyone who helped in what Arthur Hannan of Greenfield called 'her signature thoughtful, persuasive and positive way.'
A less official list of Clarke's good works includes a memorial bench and garden on the Madison Circle field that she, her husband Douglas and neighbors helped to create for Heather Carbone Brassell following her death last year after a long bout with cancer, and the May baskets that their children used to leave for elderly residents in the neighborhood.
'When the children are away, she delivers them herself,' wrote Marcia Harris in her nomination letter.
Several nominators mentioned that Clarke's husband, who she first met while volunteering together at the hospital during high school, could well share the prize if it were awarded to a couple. An operations manager at Western Massachusetts Electric Co., Doug Clarke's own list of involvement includes Greenfield Kiwanis Club, Camp Kewanee and caring for Greenfield's town clock.
He, along with their daughter, Emily, was a Community Meals board member before his wife became involved with the organization, just as their other children volunteered for Big Brother-Big Sisters and taught Sunday School.
On an afternoon last week after returning home from five hours of serving 127 families at the food pantry, Amy Clarke likened Community Meals to 'sort of an expansion of growing up on Madison Circle, where somebody moves in and you bring them cake, or go visit. It's just so easy for everybody in the community to support. It's just such a basic need, regular people like us, and they're just on the verge of losing everything.'
Other Recorder citizens of the year have included Al Dray and Philip Gilmore of Deerfield; Pearl Care of Erving; Theodore Martineau of Montague City; Rolland Gifford, Marion Taylor and Marvin Shippee of Shelburne Falls; Marjorie Reid, Edward Tombs, Irmarie Jones, Jean Cummings, David McCarthy, Charles Carter and Arline Cohn of Greenfield, the Rev. Stanley Aksamit, John Carey and Richard Kimball of Turners Falls, Albert Diemand of Wendell, Frank R. 'Bud' Foster and William Shores of Bernardston and Marian Holbrook of Northfield, Allan Adie of Gill, Geneva Lawson of Orange, Adelia Bardwell of Whately.
Not surprisingly, Clarke and many of those fellow Recorder Citizens have rubbed elbows as they've rolled up their sleeves.
'Pearl Care was my nature teacher in fifth grade,' said Clarke, who expects her parents, her five children and three grandchildren to be on hand today. 'Charlie Carter was a great friend from our church who nominated me to the hospital committee. Marjorie Reid is probably the dearest person I know. Jean Cummings and I did United Way together and Arline Cohn and I did MSPCC together. It's such a great honor being on that list.'
You can reach Richie Davis at: email@example.com or (413) 772-0261 Ext. 269
A few helpful reminders about the Greenfield Meal-Site at Second Congregational Church
Things to know ahead of time:
- Generally, it is good to have a volunteer group of 6 – 10 people serving at the meal-site.
- The meal you bring can be whatever you want it to be: a variety of casseroles, salad, dessert, and beverages; one main dish (like American Chop Suey or Shepherd’s Pie) with salad, dessert and beverages; or sandwiches and salads with dessert and beverages in summer. You decide! For planning purposes, a 9 x 13 pan will feed 12 – 15 people for a main dish, or can be cut into 24 pieces for dessert.
- Coffee is provided at the meal-site.
- You should plan on feeding 60 – 70 people early in the month; 70 – 90 people at the end of the month.
- Doors Open by 5 p.m., so people can come early to have a cup of coffee and visit before the meal. The meal is served at 5:30 p.m.
Things to know the day you serve:
- Volunteers should plan on arriving before 5 p.m.
- Tasks include preparing salads, buttering bread, cutting desserts and putting them on platters. Robin will have the coffee made and the tables set. Volunteers have the option of using disposable plates or using our real dishes and washing them all in the dishwasher. Please tell Robin which you prefer.
- Temperature of hot dishes should be checked using a thermometer prior to serving; safe temperatures are listed on the refrigerator.
- At 5:25, start bringing hot dishes out to the dining area. Robin will ask for announcements and a guest or volunteer will offer a blessing. Volunteers will serve from two lines ~ don’t forget clean gloves! ~ with a volunteer at the middle table to serve beverages. Guests need to take a clean plate for seconds.
- Generally we combine food on one serving side for seconds. When everyone has had seconds, volunteers are invited to help themselves and sit and visit with guests if there are seats available. Desserts can be either passed around to tables or handed out at the serving table.
- When everyone has had dessert, we give away any remaining food, either in containers brought by guests or in containers stored in the back storage area. If there is food left over after that, we deliver it to the Family Inn.
- A number of our guests need to catch the bus in front of Town Hall just after 6 p.m., so we encourage you to keep that time in mind as you serve the meal. We generally expect that serving groups should be able to finish cleaning up and head home before 6:30 p.m.
- If real dishes were used for the meal, they should be run through the dishwasher along with the silverware, dried, and put away. Dishes or silverware used to eat and then washed by hand should soak in the disinfectant for one minute following rinsing. Denny Fisk will let you know if he needs help wiping down tables in dining area; usually guests help him with that.
- On Wednesday evenings, we send guests home with an additional Bag Lunch so they will have a meal over the week-end. The Community Meals Program fills those Bag Lunches ahead of time and leaves them on the stage in the dining area.
- Reminder: Per the Board of Health, any volunteer or staff member touching food needs to wear gloves, whether in the kitchen or serving food to guests. Guests should take a clean plate for seconds.
- As a safety precaution … we know we have a wide variety of folks who eat with us, including some who have spent time in jail, are recovering drug or alcohol addicts, etc. As vigilant as Denny and Robin are, they can’t always know if someone has left the parish hall and gone elsewhere in the building. For this reason, we ask that no children ever be allowed to go downstairs to the bathroom alone, whether they are part of a serving group or are guests at the meal. We have never had a problem, and we want to keep it that way!
You are wonderful to help feed those less fortunate in our community! Enjoy the good company of a Community Meal!
Thank you all!!
Robin Hamilton: 775-9435
Amy Clarke: 772-6994
Here are the totals for Share the Bounty - a terrific year!! Our grand total is $3,425.13! (Last year it was $2,249.53, so we are up by over $1,000 - hooray for Deerfield Academy!)
The biggest donor (but a non-restaurant) was Deerfield Academy, with $803 given during one dinner by faculty and students.
Our top three restaurants:
- Mohawk Diner: $681.61
- People's Pint: $534.36
- Four Leaf Clover: $438.00
Other restaurants with very, very generous donors include Denny's Pantry, Taylor's Tavern, Johnson's Farm, Sharon's White Cloud, Eddie's, Wagon Wheel, Brad's.
It’s Share the Bounty with the County time at local restaurants, and Mike Ryan of the Mohawk Diner is hoping his guests will contribute generously! A project of the Franklin County Community Meals Program, Share the Bounty invites diners to leave a dollar or two in a specially-marked envelope when they dine out during the holiday season.
All contributions will help to provide free meals five evenings each week in Greenfield, Turners Falls, and Orange, and to provide food to individuals and families through the Orange Food Pantry. Last year, FCCMP served 17,708 free meals across the county, and gave away enough food and household supplies to feed 10,592 people at the Pantry. According to program Director, Amy Clarke, “Last year, we served more people than ever before in our 24-year history, but this year, between the meal-sites and the Pantry, FCCMP expects to serve over 2,000 more people than that. Our Pantry is only open on Thursdays from 10 – 3, yet we have had as many as 160 families come for food during that time.”
Participating Share the Bounty restaurants include long-time supporters, the People’s Pint, which has collected the most money of any restaurant in each of the past two years. Also in this part of Franklin County, generous supporters include Denny’s Pantry, Brad’s Place, the Mohawk Diner, the Four Leaf Clover, and for the first time, Taylor’s Tavern and the Wagon Wheel. In the Orange area, our very enthusiastic restaurants include Sharon’s White Cloud, Johnson’s Farm, Eddie’s, and Kelly’s. “We know it takes a little extra effort for restaurant staff to keep the tables stocked with envelopes and collect the money for us, and we really appreciate that effort”, says Board President, Steve Adam. “It always surprises us when some restaurants keep on going right into January!”
“We are very excited to be having Deerfield Academy participate this year for the first time”, says Clarke. “They will have a special collection during dinner on our behalf.”
For more information about FCCMP, please call program Director Amy Clarke at 772-1033, or if you are unable to patronize participating restaurants but would like to make a donation, it may be sent to FCCMP, P.O. Box 172, Greenfield, MA 01302. FCCMP is a United Way partner agency.
Library staff and volunteers surround the mountain of food collected for the Franklin County Community Meals Program during the library's recent "Food for Fines" collection! Altogether, 1,000 pounds of food was donated by patrons of the Greenfield Public Library. We wonder how many overdue books that might be??! Thanks to all!
On November 4, 2008 at Greenfield High School, FCCMP Board members sold 60 pies baked by Board members and friends and raised $500! Thanks for such great support from our community!
The generous shoppers at Food City, Foster's and Stop and Shop on Saturday, September 27th and Saturday. October 11th donated 1,700 pounds of food and $391.29 in cash! Almost all of the food donated was the kind of food needed most each week - peanut butter, beef stew, soup, tuna fish, and macaroni and cheese. All food will be used either in the Bag Lunches given out each Wednesday at the Greenfield meal-site, or will be given out to needy families at the Orange Food Pantry.
April 11, 2008
An Open Letter to the Community,
As I write this, our Food-a-Thon total is nearly $28,000, and seven area pantries have loaded their shelves with hearty, nutritious food, and I just don’t know where to begin to thank this wonderful community for making the event such a tremendous success each year!
Way back in December, Rick Kwiatkowski, Carol Courville, and Jay Deane began plotting how to make this year’s Food-a-Thon the most successful one ever. They talked with Peter Gerry from Pete’s Tire Barns, who wanted to do even more than he has in the past to bring in new support for the event, and then match that support. Joe Goody at Hannaford suggested that, in addition to all the regular food Hannaford collects each year, they might ask shoppers to donate $10 to fill bags with specific, much-needed food items. Santa Lajoie from Wal Mart made plans to sell hot dogs to raise money on Food-a-Thon day, and also committed Wal Mart to making a very generous corporate gift. The Athol Memorial Hospital offered to staff a collection point again; Time Warner Cable handled all the logistics of cameras and wiring, and promoted the Food-a-Thon heavily on their stations; the Athol Daily News and Recorder’s Quabbin Voice gave the event great press coverage; Salvadore Auto asked all their customers to donate food; the House of Wax held a Saturday car wash benefit; AOTV volunteers filmed the entire day; over 100 Food-a-Thon volunteers were fed with pizza from Orange House of Pizza and chowder from Bob Fisher (made using the Kelly’s Brunch Box kitchen), and coffee and doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts; S & S Appliance donated a wide screen TV for the day. And, as always, WJDF gave up an entire day of lucrative programming and instead asked people to come over and talk about the growing need families have for food right here in our very own community.
The incredible success of the Food-a-Thon each year comes from all of them and all of you, who often have no real stake in feeding hungry folks in our community, except that you understand what it means to be part of a community.
Each year, I find myself in tears as I drive home from the Food-a-Thon … maybe it’s just from fatigue, but I prefer to think that its from an overwhelming sense of the good we have seen in people throughout the day. Clearly, the Orange/Athol community goes to great lengths to take care of its own, and all of us at the Orange Food Pantry and Loaves and Fishes Meal-site are grateful to be your neighbors.
Franklin County Community Meals Program
The Recorder, Monday, February 25, 2008
by MACKENZIE ISSLER Recorder Staff
GREENFIELD -- On a warm day in May 1971, a 16-year-old brunette was waiting, along with others, to be picked up by ambulances during a mock-disaster drill at the Franklin County Public Hospital.
The crowd of pretend victims slowly dwindled down, as those with the most urgent injuries were shipped away.
And, then there were two. Amy Sawyer, a candy striper at the hospital and 18-year-old Doug Clarke, a junior volunteer from Deerfield Academy.
Amy was tagged ''dead on arrival'' and Doug only had minor ''injuries,'' so they were the last to be picked up.
The two struck up a conversation behind the hospital and continued talking as they rode in the ambulance together. Not long after, the two teenagers started dating.
Now, 30 years later, Amy's name has changed because she married that teenage boy she met on that warm May day.
Amy and Doug Clarke have been married for over 30 years and have five children -- and are both still active volunteering in the community.
Amy Clarke, 53, is now the executive director of the Franklin County Community Meals program and she is not the only one in her family involved with the meals program.
Her husband, Doug, was the president of the community meals program in the 1990s, and her oldest daughter, Emily, served meals throughout high school and has been on the board of trustees for about six years. And, now, her grandchildren help fill the bag lunches.
''I don't think you could find a job much more rewarding than the job I have,'' she said. ''I feel very grateful to have the job I do.''
Community Meals was started by a small group from the Unitarian Church in Greenfield. Now, the program provides meals five evenings each week in Greenfield, Turners Falls and Orange and provides food to people and families through the Orange Food Pantry.
''I think the meal sites feel like a community,'' she said.
Clarke said, while the attendees enjoy their hot meals, they share stories and make announcements to keep each other informed.
''It is a really supportive community,'' she said.
Clarke's volunteering started even earlier than her days as a candy striper, where she volunteered at the hospital in her pink and white-stripped dress and white blouse.
Clarke reminisced about walking around Madison Circle in Greenfield as a young child, towing a wagon filled with an assortment of knitted ware. She sold the handmade crafts to help raise money for the hospital right down the road.
Now, Clarke is still active in volunteering at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. She is on the Community Benefits Committee at the hospital and was on its board of directors. She headed up the community fundraising for the emergency room renovations.
Clarke is also the president of the board of trustees at the Church Street Home, a home for eight senior women, where she has volunteered for 25 years. She and her husband volunteer at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield. She is part of the founding group of Women's Way of United Way, who help meet the needs for low income children in the community.
She was on the Stoneleigh-Burnham School's board of trustees, where some of her children attended school
''We have a big family,'' she said with a smile. ''So, we have a bigger obligation to pay the community back.''
The clan is made up of mother and father, Amy and Doug, and their children, Emily, Ben, Abby, Annie and Sam.
The mother of five said every one of her children has given back to the community.
''I am very proud of them all,'' she said.
Clarke grew up in Greenfield and raised her family in the neighborhood tucked off of High Street.
''I love Greenfield,'' she said. ''It is a very nice town.''
''It (volunteering) is rewarding and you feel good doing something good for your community.''
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."J. R. R. Tolkien(1892 - 1973)
FCCMP 6th Annual Celebrity Auction
Thursday, February 14, 7:30 a.m.
Call Amy Clarke, FCCMP Director, at 772-6994 to reserve your tickets!
Auction Items 2008
1. Summer Hayride at NMH Richard Odman/NMH (for up to 1600 pounds of people)
2. Gourmet Gift Basket -- Ryan and Casey AND three appetizers prepared and Amy Clarke delivered for your next party. Choice of meatballs with wine and garlic, hot cheese dip, artichoke dip, bleu cheese and asparagus rolls, sweet and sour kielbasa, nut-cheese ball with crackers, nothing healthy…
3. Gift Basket #1: To include $25 gift certificates to Mesa Verde, Tusk and Rattle, Hope & Olive, Mohawk Diner, People’s Pint, Bart’s FCCMP Board
4. One session of Bement Summer Adventure Camp for ages 5-13 (Value $450) Bement School
5. Polish Pottery Coffee Grinder The Voss Family
And now for a few old favorites……
6. Co-Host WHAI’s morning show with WHAI and Jay the one and only Jay Fidanza Fidanza
7. Beef Stew and world famous brownies Sandy Thomas for 8 delivered to your home
8. An afternoon or evening of childcare in your Sally Ahearn home by Greenfield’s own favorite nanny
9. Planting of Your Planter in spring Greenfield AND Garden Club / Four hours of yard or garden work Andrew Easton
10. Evening of “Pizza on the Grill for 6” with Marty McGuane beer and wine any Saturday in the summer
11. Tickets to Greenfield Cinemas! George Gohl
12. Repair of a lamp, including up to $20 in parts, OR cleaning and oiling of a clock Doug Clarke
13. $120 gift certificate to Incline Training Incline training
14. One half hour of story-telling for a birthday party or event by a master story-teller (for kids and adults!) Cindy Pomeroy
15. Mid-week overnight for two people at Mohegan Sun WWLP and Mohegan Sun
16. Two weeks of one Stoneleigh-Burnham Stoneleigh- Summer Camp! Burnham School (Dance, Debate, or Softball)
17. Gift Basket #2: To include $25 gift certificates to China Gourmet, Famous Bill’s, Four Leaf Clover, FCCMP Board and Applebees, Johnson’s Farm, Hillside Pizza Hillside Pizza
18. Four week-day adult Passes to Okemo MountainWWLP and (except holidays) Jerry Adams
19. Four Fantastic Red Sox Tickets! Channing L. Bete, Box Seats with parking! and Jennifer and Tom Bete-Brown
20. Polish Pottery – a beautiful collection! The Oak Shoppe Teresa Beach Imports
21. One hour plumbing/heating consultation Marc Kaufmann
22. One Gorgeous Hand-knit child-size sweater Lorraine Bryce
23. Co-Host the morning show on BEAR Country with BEAR Country Kevin Collins
24. Basket of six fantastic wines The Wine Rack
25. Sterling and sodalite pendant Artisticly Stoned Designs
26. 12 week First Step Fitness Program YMCA of (for us new exercisers!) Greenfield
27. Beautiful print from local artist Sarah Ahearn Sarah Ahearn
28. ½ hour horseback riding lesson Stoneleigh- Burnham & Stacy Casilio, Riding Instructor
29. Two tickets to local cultural activities : Bob Pura including tickets to the Pioneer Valley Symphony, GCC Dance recital, GCC Theater and music performance. Bob will also create a personalized CD of music for the high bidder!
30. A gorgeous watercolor by well-known local artist, Bill Bassett
Special Thanks to our Wonderful Breakfast Sponsors:
The Hammond Family
Bank of Western Massachusetts
Mowry and Schmidt
Western Massachusetts Electric Co.
WHAI & BEAR Country
Greenfield Cooperative Bank
FCCMP volunteers were at the following locations on Saturday, February 2, 2008:
Stop & Shop in Greenfield
Foster's in Greenfield
Food City in Turners Falls
We collected donations of $513.49 and enough food to help restock the Pantry shelves! A cold dreary day was warmed by the generosity of alL who donated - thank you!
Thanks to all who support the FCCMP Program!
The Recorder, Monday, December 03, 2007
The Franklin County Community Meals Program will have to increase its food budget at least 30 percent in 2008 to satisfy the growing number of diners, the rising cost of food, and the more limited availability of government foods, according to board member Phyllis Jeswald.
The charity has begun its traditional holiday fundraiser, Share the Bounty with the County. Diners are invited through December to make donations in specially marked envelopes at participating restaurants.
All contributions will help to provide meals five evenings each week in Greenfield, Turners Falls, and Orange and to provide food to individuals and families through the Orange Food Pantry. Last year, the program served 18,155 free meals across the county, and gave away enough food and household supplies to feed 8,254 people at the Pantry. This year, between the meal sites and the Pantry, the program expects to serve over 2,000 more people than last year.
In the Greenfield area, restaurants participating in the campaign include long-time supporters The People's Pint, Famous Bill's, Four Leaf Clover, Brad's Place, and Denny's Pantry, as well as a newcomer, the Mohawk Diner.
In the Orange/Athol area, regular supporters are Kelly's Brunchbox, Eddie's, and Johnson's Farm, who are joined by a new restaurant, Sharon's White Cloud.
For more information, call program Director Amy Clarke at 772-1033, or send a donation to FCCMP, P.O. Box 172, Greenfield, MA 01302.
Our Turners Falls Meals site has moved to Our Lady of Peace. All is going well, except that the site is not handicapped accessible. While this does not affect our previous guests, it may be a problem for new guests. The church is looking into this and hopefully there will be an elevator installed in the future.
Share the Bounty was very well attended and the final amount that the Orange Food Pantry received was over $3,000.00. Thanks to all who were able to help!
If any group is interested in hosting a meal, please call 413-772-1033. It's a rewarding experience!