The Berkshire Community Action Council has given away coats to local children each winter for 40 years, but the need this season has been particularly large.

“We’ve definitely seen greater numbers this year,” said Stephanie Bosley, BCAC’s director of community partnerships. “We’ve had families apply this year who never had before.”

Four BCAC staff members and eight volunteers from the Rotary Club of Pittsfield spent Saturday morning handing out bags of winter-weather clothing to people driving through the parking lot of the BCAC’s Pittsfield office. For applicants who meet income-eligibility requirements, the BCAC coordinates pickup times to distribute the bags, each of which contains a coat, warm outfit, boots — and a bag of Halloween candy.

It is realized, though, that Saturday drive-thrus make for a safe and convenient way to get the packages distributed.

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