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North County Seniors And Students Prepare Food Bags
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:37AM / Saturday, March 25, 2017
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Volunteers pack up food for other seniors around the county in brown bags decorated by local schoolchildren.

Children at Plunkett School decorated the bags. Schools across North County will also be lending their creative talents.



The Brown Bag Program runs through the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
ADAMS, Mass. — North County seniors and students teamed up to make and fill bags for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts' Brown Bag program.
 
Seniors made an assembly line at the Visitors Center on Friday morning and filled 96 decorated bags with food for other seniors throughout the county.
 
"This is a program through the Food Bank and once a month, seniors volunteer and prepare these bags for income eligible seniors ... all the food they put in the bags they bring back to their communities," Council on Aging Director Erica Girgenti said. "It seems like such an easy project but it brings joy to so many people." 
 
She said the Council on Aging teamed up this year with the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District for Earth Day. Program Director Linda Cernik brought the paper bags to C.T. Plunkett School and the students decorated them with Earth Day-themed designs.
 
"We want to do this every month so the bags aren't just plain," she said. "I think they came out really good."
 
Cernik said each student will receive a certificate and each month they will bring the blank bags to another school in the county.
 
Girgenti said seniors in Adams, Cheshire, Savoy and Lanesborough benefit from the program and the recipients, many who are homebound, get a chance to connect with the children of the community. 
 
"I think that seeing these bags decorated as they are will bring joy to some people that may be otherwise homebound," she said. "They don’t have any interaction with kids and this puts a smile on their face."
 
Cernik added that the program also raises students' awareness about conservation.
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