Seaman Paper, employees help Orange Food Pantry with gift drive, $2.5K donation

  • Seaman Paper Co. recently completed a company-wide Christmas gift drive to support the Orange Food Pantry, a part of the Franklin County Community Meals Program. The company donated $2,500 so employees of the community meals program could shop for gifts to be distributed to children, while Seaman Paper employees also donated their own money and gifts. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Seaman Paper Co. recently completed a company-wide Christmas gift drive to support the Orange Food Pantry, a part of the Franklin County Community Meals Program. The company donated $2,500 so employees of the community meals program could shop for gifts to be distributed to children, while Seaman Paper employees also donated their own money and gifts. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Seaman Paper Co. recently completed a company-wide Christmas gift drive to support the Orange Food Pantry, a part of the Franklin County Community Meals Program. The company donated $2,500 so employees of the community meals program could shop for gifts to be distributed to children, while Seaman Paper employees also donated their own money and gifts. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 12/21/2021 3:37:53 PM
Modified: 12/21/2021 3:37:38 PM

ORANGE — Seaman Paper Co. recently completed a company-wide Christmas gift drive to support the Orange Food Pantry, a part of the Franklin County Community Meals Program.

The business donated $2,500 so employees of the community meals program could shop for gifts to be distributed to children this holiday season. Seaman Paper employees also donated their own money and gifts such as stuffed animals, clothing, board games, books and educational toys for a separate gift drive for the food pantry.

“Giving back is part of who we are at Seaman Paper. We are blessed to have so many employees who genuinely care about the communities they call home,” Seaman Paper CEO Ken Winterhalter said in a statement. “Seeing how passionate our employees are about supporting local charities is a wonderful feeling, and we’re happy to be able to help them give back.”

Rachel Berggren, executive director of the Franklin County Community Meals Program, said the generosity of Seaman Paper and its employees provides a wonderful supplement to the meals program’s efforts.

“It was incredible. I mean, we are in the business of food — feeding people — so we’re not used to that kind of donation,” she explained, “but we could use the donation because, especially this time of year, we see people struggling to make ends meet … and wanting to still be able to participate in the holidays, like any parent would.”

The Franklin County Community Meals Program operates four free community meal sites: on Mondays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Our Lady of Peace Church, 90 Seventh St. in Turners Falls; on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church, 116 Court Square in Greenfield; on Thursdays from 5 to 5:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 104 South Main St. in Orange; and on the fourth Thursday of each month from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Trinitarian Congregational Church, 147 Main St. in Northfield (although the December date was held earlier due to the holidays).

Berggren explained when the community meals program learned of the monetary donation from Seaman Paper, its employees took inventory of patrons with children to learn the age groups to shop for. She said patrons who come in for food will get to pick a couple of toys per child. Distribution will start Thursday and last a couple of weeks, until the supply runs out.

Berggren said patrons had “light in their eyes” when they learned about the impending gift distribution.

“We appreciate the support that our communities give to our employees and us. We’re delighted and honored to be able to reciprocate that support,” Seaman Paper owner George Jones III said in a statement. “We hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season.”

Seaman Paper, headquartered in Gardner, manufactures environmentally sustainable specialty paper and packaging solutions. The family-owned company has been making paper in Massachusetts since 1946.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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