Food fight: Berkshire-Bounty on track to deliver 83,000 meals in 2019

(Hannah Shirley) Mark Lefenfeld, right, and Jay Weintraub, of Berkshire-Bounty.

GREAT BARRINGTON — Unlike Sir Isaac Newton, who is said to have found inspiration for his theory of gravity with the fall of a single apple, Jay Weintraub and Mark Lefenfeld were inspired by the fall of many apples.
More specifically, the mess made by the fall of many apples.

“I started picking apples off the ground in 2015 and I said, ‘This makes no sense. All these apples are going to waste. We could use them all,’” said Weintraub, who owns a small apple orchard in Alford. “So that’s when I spoke with Mark and said: ‘let’s make some kind of collection program.’”

The small apple delivery program that would eventually become Berkshire-Bounty wouldn’t start in earnest until 2017, when it took off immediately, with 8,000 pounds of food donated their first year and 33,000 pounds donated their second.

This year, following a merger with another nonprofit with the same mission, Berkshire-Bounty is on track to donate more than 100,000 pounds of unprocessed food or close to 83,000 meals. The food is donated to Berkshire-Bounty from dozens of local partners, including Berkshire Food Co-op, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Big Y and Price Chopper.

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