"Helping people help themselves"

BRGN Needs Men to Help Move Furniture - If You Feel Strong Enough to Help, Please Call Audrey at 228-3663


Black River Produce Donates Ludlow Property to BRGNS

The Board of Directors of Black River Good Neighbor Services in Ludlow has announced the receipt of a major gift from Black River Produce of North Springfield.  The owners of BRP, Mark Curran and Steve Birge have given the Ludlow based food shelf the land on which BRP first ran their wholesale business in the late 1970’s.

Black River Good Neighbor Services operates a food shelf at 37B Main Street in Ludlow to serve the towns of Ludlow, Cavendish, Mount Holly and Plymouth.  They have partnered with Black River Produce for many years to help feed the hungry and this latest gesture of generosity is most appreciated.

“This is quite overwhelming,” said Peter LaBelle, President of the Good Neighbors’ Board.  “We are truly grateful for the kindness that Mark and Steve have shown to the people of Ludlow, and especially to our clients.”

Black River Produce began the wholesale distribution of produce from an old barn in the lot off Pleasant Street in the late 1970’s.  They moved their operations to Proctorsville in 1989 when they outgrew the barn, and then moved to North Springfield in 2005, but still remember their roots in Ludlow.  “We believe in giving back to the community that has been so good to us,” said Steve Birge. 

“Black River Produce is all about food and we hate the thought that there are people who cannot afford to eat.  We just wanted to help Good Neighbors in some way.”

For additional information about Black River Good Neighbors call 802-228-3663.  For more information on Black River Produce, see www.blackriverproduce.com.



Looking for a Job? BRGNS needs your help!


BRGNS has employment opportunities - for a Thrift Store and Food Shelf Attendant - fill out the employment application by clicking HERE and send it or email it to Audrey Bridge at BRGNS. 

The Director's Report . . .


Hello Folks,

The New Year has passed. We made our list and checked it twice (more like 200 times ) and delivered baskets to all that requested them in our region.  After many years of dedication, some of our former board members have stepped back from their more demanding duties.  This has really allowed newer board members to shine….. For the second year Lee Potter was our “Grand Poo-bah” of holiday baskets, OK that’s just my nick name for the position but he is “the go to guy” for 173 square miles.  He has been in charge of all the food and the master list. A huge job!  Doris Eddy was the Head Elf making sure all the good girls and boys wishes were met within reason.  This is a balancing and juggling act made even more difficult by parents that miss the application deadline and ask for very specific gifts.  Folks just don’t seem to understand that we try to get individuals and groups to adopt kids and families,  they need a bit of time to gather those wished for items.  And last but not least Jane Pixley is our volunteer coordinator.  Jane lined up the individuals to pack the baskets. She also planned and manned the basket delivery.  I know Jane wishes the dining hall at Fletcher Farm were bigger for the packing, as many more folks would like to help but we just don’t have the room. I also know she wishes that we had that large a volunteer pool year round.  All of our volunteer board helps with this huge endeavor.  There are pick-ups to be made as well as shopping to do and moving of furniture and food and the ever important inventory.  This program truly takes a (volunteer) village.  Aren’t we lucky that so many dedicated and giving individuals care about their neighbors.  I can hardly write about this program and not mention how very generous our entire community was with the Stuff-a-bus, gifts for kids ,food and  financial donations, or they  just stopping by to see what we need.  It was a heartening wonderful end to a great year.

This year we look to serving our community where there is need,  the return of some fun and needed fundraisers. If you get a case of cabin fever come on down.  We always need volunteers and customers. We are also fully stocked with books and puzzles.

Take Care,


Important Coming Dates at BRGNS:


Special - The Castle Restaurant in Proctorsville will be serving a 3 course dinner, featuring its excellent cuisine, for $25 - AND on Tuesday's, it will donate 50% of its proceeds to Black River Good Neighbors . . .

. . . Enjoy a great meal and know that you're helping someone else take care of their family!


Across Our Table 

Black River Good Neighbor Services is primarily a food shelf to help people in need.  So we distribute a lot of food, some of which may not be familiar to all people.  We try to find recipes to complement the food that we distribute and now we are producing a cooking show to introduce those recipes to everybody.  The show is called “Across Our Table” and features two of our volunteers, Doris Eddy and Peter LaBelle (pictured above in a scene from an episode of 'Across Our Table'), who discuss the recipes and the food while demonstrating.  The show is broadcast on LPC-TV and is also available on their website, www.LPCTV.org  (Just click on videos and scroll down to find the episode you want to see.)


We have also typed up the recipes and they are available by clicking here.


We hope that you find something useful in the show and we’d love to hear your comments.  Please e-mail them to BRGNS@TDS.net.  Bon Appetit!


Summary of 2014 Christmas Baskets

Once again, the volunteers and staff at Black River Good Neighbor Services conducted a highly successful Holiday Basket distribution to help families and individuals all over our service area.  Beginning on December 6th with the annual Stuff-a-Bus at Shaw’s market, the BRGNS volunteers began collecting food to be ultimately delivered to families in need.  Meanwhile, Santa’s elves began gathering toys to be distributed to the children in those families too.  On Thursday, December 18th volunteers packed 130 boxes of non-perishable food items for a full holiday dinner, and on Friday, December 19th bags of toys were moved (by truck, not by sleigh) to the distribution center at Fletcher Farms.  Then, on Monday, December 22nd they packed another 116 boxes with milk, turkey, bread, potatoes, butter and eggs.  The work wasn’t over, as another small army of volunteers loaded those 246 boxes into vans, trucks, cars and SUVs and spread out over the towns of Ludlow, Cavendish, Mount Holly and Plymouth to deliver them in plenty of time for Christmas dinner.  Those 246 boxes of food were delivered to 116 households made up of 281 people, including 86 children under age 13.  Nobody at Black River Good Neighbor Services likes the fact that there are so many people in need of these services, but all of the volunteers and staff are glad to be able to give of themselves and to be a part of this effort.  Making the holidays just a little bit nicer for our neighbors.



A Message from Peter LaBelle, President of BRGNS

Welcome to 2015!  Now that the holidays are behind us at BRGNS we tend to relax a little bit.  But we are all acutely aware that hunger never takes a holiday and it is always with us.  People fall on hard times as much in January as they did in December and our food distribution efforts are as important now as they were last month.  We tend to focus on the big events like distribution of the Holiday Boxes, but we cannot and do not forget that the daily distributions to hungry families takes priority in our work.

Our December 2014 Holiday food distribution was quite successful this year.  We gave out 246 boxes of food and dozens of bags of toys to 116 households made up of 281 people, including 86 children under age 13.  That distribution was a culmination of months of effort by BRGNS volunteers that began with planning last summer.  Food was ordered and collected throughout the fall and toys were collected through dozens of organizations and individuals throughout the area. 

Okemo held it’s annual December food drive and BRGNS held its Stuff-a-Bus at Shaw’s on the first weekend of December.  Additional food was purchased and trucked to Fletcher Farm where it was all sorted and readied for packing.  Then, on December 18th the first round of packing commenced.  Meanwhile a small army of volunteers were selecting, purchasing and wrapping gifts for children on our list.  When all was in place, another set of volunteers came one by one to Fletcher Farm, loaded their vehicles with boxes and toys and fanned out across the area to deliver meals and fun in time for Christmas.  This is a truly community event and it never fails to impress me just how much effort and coordination goes into it.

But all of that effort takes a lot of volunteers and we are always looking for more help.  Now that we are into January there is a need for assistance every day with sorting and hanging clothes in the thrift store and general merchandising work.  Also, we especially need help filling and distributing USDA orders every two weeks.  If you would like to get involved we would love to have you.  Please call Audrey at the BRGNS Thrift Store, 802-228-3663.  She would love to hear from you.

I, along with our staff, volunteers and clients wish you a healthy and happy New Year!



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Calendar & Sales Info . .

Rummage Sales at Fletcher Farm -
Semi Annual Rummage Sale every Spring & Fall.  Come support your neighbors in need while getting great bargains. From Clothing, Furniture, Housewares, Books, Sporting Goods, Toys, Linens and Sooo Much More!! Friday & Saturday from 10 to 4pm Sunday from 10 to 2. Stop by Fletcher Farm's Rough Barn for incredible deals throughout the entire barn!!

Check HERE for Calendar Details



Help Us Help Others!


Normal Business Hours:

Thrift Store:

   Monday thru Friday

      10 am to 4 pm


     10 am to 4 pm

Phone - 802-228-3663

Furniture Store:

  105 Main St., Ludlow


  Friday & Saturday

     10 am to 4 pm






Web Site last updated:

October 27, 2014