The Second Helpings Program has worked with Deerfield for over 20 years to provide meals for the under-resourced community of Greenfield, MA. The service first provides a sit-down meal, where guests can sit at tables in the church and collect a plate of food from volunteers who prepare and serve the meal. The sit-down service provides community members with a chance to connect with others, both volunteers and other diners. Watching Maggie, the director of the program, converse with regulars while they eat their meals is both inspiring and uplifting, as it clearly brings joy to both parties. The take-out meal service feeds well over 50 community members, many of whom rely on the service for a stable meal or two.
Food insecurity is an issue that many communities in Massachusetts experience and the Second Helpings program attempts to address that issue by providing at least one stable meal per week for the citizens of Greenfield. Oftentimes community members pick up around a dozen meals to bring to nearby parks or areas where there is a large homeless population, who may not have a way of transportation to the church. Although the Second Helpings program is small, its outreach is huge, as is its impact on the community of Greenfield.
Since the beginning of June, I have picked up food prepared by the Deerfield Dining Hall and delivered it to the Church in Greenfield. Being able to help direct other volunteers and be an integral part of this community has allowed me to gain a new understanding of how these programs work, and how much of an impact they can have.
-Fiona Howes ’23