Eating’s Not Optional: Expanding Food Security in the Hilltowns

Thank you to Erin White of Cummington, MA for sharing this event!

Eating’s Not Optional
A Workshop and Networking Luncheon on Expanding Food Security in the Hilltowns

Community Breakfast

Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield

When: Friday, April 24th, 10 am-12:30 pm

Where: Community House, Main St Cummington, MA.

What:  This free community workshop and networking luncheon calls on citizens, community leaders and social activists to mobilize individual, community, and governmental efforts to keep people fed during difficult economic times. In our state, only 43% of people eligible for food assistance actually enroll. The percentage is even lower for elderly residents. Preventing hunger is a community concern, and mobilizing our resources is a first step.

Who: We invite everyone invested in community: people of faith, social service workers, store owners, food pantry workers, doctors, EMT’s, union leaders, teachers, students, and all others, to join with us as we come together to focus on the silent epidemic of hunger, and expand the options that are available to us here in Western Massachusetts. Interested people from the Hilltowns will also be invited TO ENROLL in programs at the workshop.

Why: Feeding the hungry is more important now than ever. “Hungry neighbors are forced to chose, each day, between eating, keeping warm, paying the rent or having the gas to get to work. This should be a serious concern to all of us, because it impacts all of us. The Hilltowns can and should develop local food sources to help ourselves, as times get tough. Seeds are a long-term solution to severe economic hardship, as our grandparents knew. However, hungry people can’t wait a week to eat, never mind a planting season. We need important stop-gap measures NOW, that will set us all on the road to greater food independence tomorrow…”

Workshop Schedule:

  • 10:00 Arrival, Sign-in, Coffee
  • 10:15 Introductions: Stephen Philbrick, West Cummington Congregational Church
    Welcome: State Representatives Steven Kulik & Denis Guyer
  • 10:30 Presentations:
    Diane Meehan, SNAP program & Goshen Food Pantry
    Wendy Kane, Western Mass Legal Services
    John Bergeron, Health Insurance expert
  • 11:45 Luncheon, brainstorming, networking
  • 12:30 Concluding Remarks

How: To Register at no charge: Call West Cummington Church 413-634-2100 or e-mail:

Thanks to all those contributing their efforts to make this workshop happen, including Paul Dunphy, District Aide and countless others who selflessly devoted themselves to serving our neighborhood.

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