Friday, April 3, 2015

From the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition Newsletter:

Interfaith Action Initiative is Five Years Old!

The Friday, April 17, meeting of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative will focus on the upcoming annual Letter Carrier food drive, which will be held on Saturday, May 9. Volunteers from the Friendship Center Food Pantry regularly work that day to help collect and sort the food donated from North Adams, Clarksburg and Florida. We need volunteers!
The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of North Adams, Eagle Street Room. All are welcome.
\We spoke to Lindsey Maynard of the Berkshire County’s Sheriff’s Office at the March 20 meeting. The department is now running a branch of its Pittsfield-based re-entry program for former offenders in the Eagle Street Room between Friendship Center Food Pantry sessions on Wednesdays.
At the meeting, we also made the first presentation on the recently created NBIAI Interfaith Events and Programs Subcommittee, which is open to interested people in our area.
The Friendship Center Food Pantry keeps going strong. After the three and a half years of growth in the number of weekly visitors, we seem to be leveling off a bit – with slightly fewer visitors this March than last March — though this might be due to the weather!
April marks the fifth anniversary of the NBIAI, which grew out of the April 2010 nbCC forum on the intersection of faith and the community. We could not have started without the encouragement of nbCC Executive Director Al Bashevkin, nor could our pantry have begun or thrived without the support of Al and the Coalition staff and board.
The Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative is a group of people of different faiths and denominations working with others of goodwill to serve our community. It runs the Friendship Center Food Pantry, among other activities. For more information and recent news, visit, like our page on Facebook or call Mark at 413-664-0130. -Mark Rondeau

Sunday, March 29, 2015

CBI’s Take and Eat program provides hot, nutritious meals one Sunday each month for every homebound senior in the city of North Adams. The program is run by volunteers who plan, purchase, cook, package and deliver an average of 125 meals. Most preparation takes place in the synagogue kitchen. Children prepare cards delivered with the meals. The drivers who deliver meals form enduring connections with the recipients. Some drivers take their kids with them to deliver meals. Volunteers learn about Jewish values associated with feeding the hungry.  CBI coordinates with area churches to identify recipients and to provide meals every Sunday of the year. 

Take and Eat is always looking for more people to get involved as volunteers and as donors. To volunteer to help shop, cook, bake, package or deliver meals, or to work on the cleanup crew in the kitchen on one Sunday a month, contact the CBI office. You can also be a Take and Eat "angel" by sponsoring one of the monthly meals. Your donation of $180 will feed every homebound senior in North Adams on one Sunday when they otherwise would go without a hot meal. Thank you for doing your part to make Take and Eat a nationally recognized leader in synagogue social action!

                                       CBI'ers participated in the Crop Walk in the Fall of 2014.
                                       Raising funds and awareness of hunger insecurity locally
                                       and around the world.
CBI is a founding member of Berkshire Interfaith Organizing!
Volunteers are needed.  

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"It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world but neither are you not free to desist from it either." 
Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:21