Food bank gets $5M in funding toward new distribution center
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has received $5 million in state funding to help it build its new distribution center and headquarters in Chicopee.
Food bank officials and state lawmakers met this week to announce the funding which was approved earlier this month and is from the state’s American Rescue Plan money.
The food bank that serves residents of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties still needs another $4 million to reach its $26 million goal for the 60,000-square-foot (5,575-square-meter) facility. Groundbreaking is scheduled for April.
The new center will replace the current inadequate 30,000-square-foot (2,790-square-meter) distribution center in Hatfield, where food is often stored in the aisles and on refrigerated trailers parked permanently at loading docks, creating warehouse inefficiencies and delays in food distribution.
The food bank provides food to more than 100,000 people per month, about 30% of whom are children, and need has soared during the pandemic, officials say.