Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

BERKSHIRE BANK COLLECTS OVER 10,000 POUNDS OF FOOD

Food Items Benefit Over Fifty Local Food Pantries

Berkshire Bank announced today that it collected over 10,000 pounds of food and nearly $500.00 dollars to support more than 50 local food pantries as part of its 5th annual company-wide food drive. The drive ran from September 10 through the 28 in connection with National Hunger Action Month. Both employees and customers donated non-perishable food items in support of this effort. Each Berkshire Bank office teamed up with a local food pantry or food bank in their community to ensure the food they collected helped those directly affected by hunger in the local area.  In all, 56 food pantries received donations from Berkshire Bank totaling an estimated 10,350 pounds of food.

Berkshire Bank holds its annual food drive each September as part of National Hunger Action Month. According to local food banks and pantries in the area, one in ten people in the bank’s market area of Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont struggle to put a meal on the table or have to choose between paying a bill and feeding their family. Need for food items this year exceeded previous years in light of current economic conditions. 

The Food Drive is only one of many projects that are part of the bank’s Employee Volunteer Program which carries out community service projects in communities served by the bank. Annually, over 50% of the bank’s employees participate in community service volunteer projects and programs, and they contributed more than 26,000 hours of service in 2011. The Employee Volunteer Program is another way the bank demonstrates its commitment to the communities in which it does business in addition to the $1.5 million dollars it awards annually to non-profit organizations.   

Background

Berkshire Bank Foundation Inc. and Berkshire Bank Foundation – Legacy Region the charitable arms of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting BankSM, are leaders in philanthropy and community involvement.  The foundations’ mission is to enhance the quality of life in Berkshire Bank’s footprint by providing priority funding to education and community/economic development projects.  They also fund programs dedicated to the arts, education, and human services. Each year the two foundations award nearly $1.5 million to nonprofit organizations in their footprint.  For more information, visit www.berkshirebank.com/foundation, “Like” them on www.facebook.com/BerkshireBank or call Peter J. Lafayette, Executive Director at 413-447-1722.

Berkshire Bank - America's Most Exciting BankSM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hills Bancorp.  The Company has $4.5 billion in assets and 68 full-service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and Connecticut providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services.  Berkshire Bank provides 100% deposit insurance protection for all deposit accounts, regardless of amount, based on a combination of FDIC insurance and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF).  Berkshire has a pending agreement to acquire Beacon Federal Bancorp headquartered in Syracuse, NY.  For more information, visit www.berkshirebank.com or call 800-773-5601.

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