Pittsfield food pantry desperately needs donations as demand skyrockets

Berkshire County food pantry seeks donations

Berkshire County food pantry seeks donations

A charity in Berkshire County said their food pantry shelves are constantly empty, and they desperately need your help.

“I’m not saying it’s a critical need. It’s a desperate need. It’s beyond being critical,” Jackie Melendez, with the Christian Center Board of Directors, said.

The request for food at the Christian Center in Pittsfield has doubled in the last six months. They fed 600 families last week.

Every week, there’s a line at the door before they open at 9 a.m., Melendez said.

She has some reasons why she thinks it’s gone up.

“An increase in our immigrant population and we have people who are food insecure. They may work. We call them the working poor, but they still need food,” Melendez said.

Everyone is welcome, Melendez said.

Karen Ryan, Christian Center’s Food and Services Director, said food insecurity does not discriminate.

“I just think the cost of living. Everything. Groceries are very expensive. People are struggling. We’re seeing families who never had to use a food pantry before. Families who work two jobs, they’re coming in here just to put a couple of extra meals on the table,” Melendez said.

A truck filled with food gets dropped off at the Christian Center once a week, and they have private donors. Ryan said it’s not enough these days.

That’s why they need donations. Specifically dry foods and canned goods.

“We get our food delivery on Tuesday afternoon and by Thursday, we’re empty,” Ryan said. “We’re the only agency in Pittsfield that has five days a week where you can get food. We used to be able to last those five days, and now it’s just 2.5 days, and we’re done.”