Having dependable access to nutritious food improves health, reduces stress, and makes it possible for people to thrive in our community. If you or someone you know is having trouble meeting their food needs, these are places that can help:
Use SNAP at the Great Falls Farmers Market and earn extra food using HIP. Earn an extra $40–80 a month in fresh fruits and vegetables when you shop at local farmers markets and farm stands, including the Great Falls Farmers Market. Learn more
The Mobile Food Bank visits the Gill Montague Senior Center (62 5th St) every 3rd Wednesday between 1:30-2:30pm. The Mobile Food Bank is a program of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts that gives away fresh produce, dairy products, and frozen meats. There are no eligibility requirements, and volunteers are welcome! Learn more
Every Monday night there is a free community meal at Our Lady of Peace Church on 7th St. in Turners Falls. The doors open at 5 p.m. and everyone is welcome. (This meal is sponsored by the Franklin County Community Meals Program.)
Montague Catholic Social Ministries (MCSM) has a food pantry connected with their Emergency Basic Needs program. The Emergency Basic Needs program has open hours on Wednesdays from 9-noon, but the pantry is accessible at other times as well. To reach the program coordinator, call 413-863-4804, ext. 1002 — or stop by 43 Third Street (the Moltenbrey Apartments) in Turners Falls and press #103 at the entrance.
The Franklin Area Survival Center Food Pantry at 96 4th St. is open Mon–Fri, 10am-1:30pm. If you fill out some paperwork and qualify, you can become a regular client and get groceries from this pantry once a month. When they have leftover food after 1:30, they make it available in the thrift store next door. Call 413-863-9549 for more information.
The Gill-Montague Senior Center at 62 5th St in Turners Falls distributes brown bag lunches for elders on the first Thursday of each month from 10:30-12.
Free Summer Meals for youth 18 and under are provided by the Gill-Montague Regional School District at 5 different sites on most days when the schools are closed for the summer.
There are many more community meals, food pantries, and brown bag distribution points in Franklin County. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts supports many of them. Here’s their list.