Instead of marching in front of their hospital with picket signs today, the registered nurses of Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) will be in front of the hospital and local grocery stores gathering donations of food for those in need in Franklin County. The nurses are launching the food drive, which will donate all proceeds to the Franklin County Community Action’s Center for Self Reliance Food Pantry, as an expression of appreciation and support the for the community that provided support to them during their two-year struggle to achieve a fair contract settlement, a settlement that was achieved on Friday with the signing of a tentative agreement averting the strike.
“From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank everyone in our community for all the support you have given us in our efforts to make our local community hospital the best that it can be,” said Linda Judd, RN, a nurse at the hospital and co-chair of the local bargaining unit of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United at BFMC. “The months immediately following the holidays find food pantry shelves depleted at a time when the need is the greatest. And given the extreme weather conditions so far this year many families and elderly are faced with higher heating costs which leaves little money left over to put food on the table. We hope this effort can help those in need in our community.”
Donations will be collected at the following places and times:
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Outside the Green Fields Market, 144 Main Street
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Outside Fosters Supermarket, 70 Allen Street
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Outside Baystate Franklin Medical Center, High Street entrance
At 3:30 a delegation of nurses will deliver the donated food to the Center for Self Reliance located at 3 Osgood Street in Greenfield.
Reporters looking to arrange interviews with the nurses during the drive can call Jim Gander of the MNA/NNU, who will be onsite with the nurses throughout the day. He can be reached on his cell at 781-571-0335.