The Berkshire County courts and community correction center are hosting three separate week-long Food and Supply Drives to benefit non-profit agencies across the county as part of the Massachusetts Trial Court’s statewide 4th annual Cultural Appreciation Week 2020 (CAW), October 19-23.

The week-long Cultural Appreciation Week celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion in the courts and communities throughout the Commonwealth. This year's theme is "We Rise by Lifting Others, Justice and Culture: Bridging the Gap." In the spirit of the theme, event organizers decided to help those who are experiencing "food insecurity." The pandemic has increased the level of food insecurity, according to Feeding America which found that one in seven people may not have access to three healthy meals a day and one in five children in Massachusetts now live in food-insecure households, an 81 percent increase over pre-COVID food insecurity levels.

The Berkshire County courts and center are among more than 70 state courts, offices, and departments hosting food and supply drives across the Commonwealth. The idea for the drives originated in Berkshire County. The Southern Berkshire District Food Drive will support MulticulturalBRIDGE (Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups and Education) in Lee.

The Food and Supply Drive at the Berkshire County Court Complex--by hosted by Central Berkshire, Superior, and Probate & Family courts as well as Berkshire Community Corrections Center -- will benefit the St. Joseph's Food Pantry and the Elizabeth Freeman Center. Northern Berkshire District  Court's Food Drive will provide food for the Berkshire Food Project in North Adams. Non-perishable food and supplies may be dropped off at the following locations:

Southern Berkshire District Court

Southern Berkshire Court, 9 Gilmore Avenue in Great Barrington, will have bins for donated food and supplies set up Oct. 19-23, from 9 am to 4 pm.

Suggested donations: canned soups, beans, tuna and chicken; peanut butter and jelly; dried beans; tortillas- corn & flour; grits; and salsa.

Berkshire County Court Complex

Berkshire County Court Complex, 76 East Street, in Pittsfield. Bins will be set up in front of the complex from Oct. 19 -23, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Suggested donations: non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, laundry pods, full size shampoo, conditioner, razors and shaved gel, twin and full fleece blankets, new bed pilows, brooms and dustpans, kitchen serving utensils, diapers, and new socks and underwear.

Northern Berkshire District Court

Northern Berkshire District Court. Non-perishable items will be collected in bins which will be set up under a tent adjacent to the Mass MOCA parking lot at 111 Holden Street, in North Adams. Donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm.

Suggested donations: canned food, pasta, dried beans, rice.

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