The Berkshire Food Project (BFP) was started by Williams College students in 1987. They recognized that there had been a shift in the region from a industrial to a service economy, resulting in unemployment and under-employment. Many young people left the North Adams area in search of jobs, leaving older family members in the community who lacked the job skills which emerging technological firms would require.
The Berkshire Food Project seeks to alleviate hunger, food insecurity, and social isolation by serving healthy, no cost meals and connecting people to other resources, all in a dignified and respectful manner. We seek to alleviate need that has grown even in periods of economic expansion nationally. We seek to provide a forum to facilitate unselfconscious interaction among disparate segments of the population. And we seek to provide information helpful to our customers. We invite relevant social service agencies and experts to address lunch gatherings on such varied issues as tenants’ rights, voting registration, programs for the elderly, public assistance, child and health care, Social Security, and nutrition. We also seek to share information about food insecurity with our community to foster a greater understanding of the issues in our community and the barriers that can prevent people from accessing resources.
Volunteers join the staff of the BFP and help prepare, serve and enjoy lunch with members of the community. Help is appreciated between 8:30am-2:00pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There are also opportunities for groups to volunteer in the evening or on weekends for special projects. Students can either fill out the online application or contact BFP directly.