County Fare: Free films focus on future of farming, food

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Images Cinema in Williamstown this weekend will host Fresh Fest 2018 — four free film screenings about to the future of farming, the environment and sustainability.

At 7 p.m. Friday, check out back-to-back "Honey Docs": Trent Waterman's film "Keep the Hives Alive," which warns of the effects of pollinator-killing pesticides, and "The Last Honey Hunter," directed by Ben Knight, which explores the remote honeybee hives found in the mountains of Nepal's Hongu River Valley. This series will wrap with a conversation with area beekeepers Jeanne Davis, Russell Wilson, Tony Pisano and Shira Wohlberg.

At noon Saturday, "Wasted! The Story of Food Waste," directed by Anna Chai and Nari Kye, will be followed by a conversation with Eleanor Lustig about Williams College's WRAPS (Williams Recovery of All Perishable Surplus) program. Then, at 2:30 p.m., venture into rural Kentucky with the film "Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry," directed by Laura Dunn and Jef Sewell.

Fresh Fest is co-sponsored by Images Cinema, the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, the Williams College Center for Environmental Studies, Storey Publishing and Williams College Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives.

Preview the film trailers at imagescinema.org/film_events/fresh-fest-2018.

Bruins support local kids

What do the Boston Bruins and your local library have in common? They're looking for pajamas.

The professional hockey team is partnered with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and the nonprofits Cradles to Crayons and the Wonder Fund, to collect donations of new, unused children's pajamas through public libraries in Massachusetts. The statewide goal is to collect 15,000 pairs of PJs during this 11th annual drive. The deadline to donate is March 15.

Participating Berkshire County libraries include: Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, Lenox Library, Mason Library in Great Barrington, Otis Library & Museum and Ramsdell Library in Housatonic. Donated pajamas will be distributed to local children in need via the Department of Children and Families.

The Top 3 library collections will receive one of the prizes listed below: first prize of a street hockey clinic with Bruins Mascot Blades, second prize of a school or library visit with Blades, or one autographed Bruins item for the organization.

Learn more at nhl.com/bruins/community/pj-drive.

Rotary helps food pantries

Local food pantries recently received a season-ending boost from the Rotary Club of Pittsfield. Club President Jeffrey Hassett announced during the group's Feb. 22 meeting that members distributed $11,000 in grants, in denominations of $1,000 each, for the following food programs: First Baptist Church, St. Mark's Food Pantry, First United Methodist Church, the Christian Center, St. Stephen's Table, Christian Assembly Church, Reigning Love Church, Salvation Army, St. Joseph's Kitchen and St. Joseph's Church, all of Pittsfield; and St. Agnes Church in Dalton.

The Rotary Club raised funds through their annual auction, golf tournament and through a food drive held last fall that was chaired by longtime Rotarians H. Jay Bailly, vice president and senior business banking officer at Berkshire Bank, and Shaun Heimann, first vice president at Francis Investment Consulting Group. In addition Rotarians worked with Pittsfield elementary schools, General Dynamics and the Berkshire Athenaeum to coordinate additional in-house collections of nonperishable food items. The group collected $4,218 in cash and 5,400 pounds of food during the food drive.

On Saturday, the club will continue its fundraising efforts by hosting the annual Rotary Wine Pairing Dinner at Mazzeo's Ristorante, 1015 South St., Pittsfield. The event takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and tickets are $100 per person, to go to local charities. Visit rotarypittsfield.org/events for more information.


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