The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is trying to build a bigger distribution center near Chicopee to combat food insecurity in the pandemic.
Food bank Executive Director Andrew Morehouse says the number of people using its services had jumped by 17% in the past year, straining the current distribution system.
"It seems like poverty — and now associated with it, food insecurity — are pretty intractable," Morehouse says. " Both have existed for decades at pretty heightened levels, and clearly through the pandemic they've skyrocketed."
A new survey from the group Feeding America found that 30% more children are expected to be food insecure this year in western Massachusetts, compared to before the pandemic.