Dear Friend, 

We have a robust update for you today with news from each of our programs and a deeper dive into the emergency food work of Grow Food Northampton (GFN), the Community Food Distribution Project (CFDP). While all of our programs have been compelled to switch gears in the last six weeks, none more so than our food access work. The programs and relationships that GFN built over the last decade have proven invaluable in getting the CFDP off the ground, with partners the Northampton Survival Center and Community Action Pioneer Valley, in a matter of days. As you'll read below, in three short weeks, we are now providing food for over 700 individuals in the area who need it. I'm proud to be able to share this news! 

With gratitude for your support, 

Niki Lankowski, Tuesday Market and Communications Manager

The Community Food Distribution Program is Running Strong

The Community Food Distribution Project has wrapped up its third week of providing groceries and produce to local households experiencing food insecurity. Grow Food Northampton initiated and is implementing the procurement of produce from local farms and the delivery piece of the project, while the Northampton Survival Center is conducting on-site food distribution at the Jackson Street School.

This week, we delivered groceries to 312 households consisting of 703 individuals. All of these deliveries are made within two hours, one on Tuesday and another on Thursday, to 11 housing communities in Northampton. Shout out to the great efforts of our volunteers and staff and the prep work of Northampton Survival Center staff and volunteers on Mondays and Wednesday as well as the Northampton Housing Authority for helping with distributions and outreach.

This week we began adding a supplement to the distribution- a weekly newsletter with recipe ideas, cooking suggestions, and family activities, all produced by Grow Food Northampton staff. We have also begun producing short cooking demos on our YouTube channel to provide some inspiration. 

Thank you to Rich Cooper of Cooper’s Corner and State Street Market who called Grow Food Northampton on Thursday to donate additional food to the CFDP. We were already on the delivery route, so we swung by and picked up two cases of bananas and some other goods, which were then immediately dropped off at Michael's House and Forsander Apartments. Perfect timing! We're so happy to be making these type of connections. 

Community Food Distribution Project in the News: 


CFDP coverage on MassLive on April 10, 2020


GFN Associate Director Michael Skillicorn on the Spanish-language Colectivo de Medios Latinos

GFN ED Alisa Klein on The Bill Newman Show

Click here for Food Pick up and Delivery- Days, Times and Locations

Enormous Shout Out to Local Roots Care

As the pandemic arrived in the Valley, a group of Northampton citizens formed Local Roots Care, a funding collaborative to support local farms and help feed our neighbors during these tough times. Local Roots Care, founded by Dr. Martin Wohl and his wife, Marisa Labozzetta (pictured here volunteering on a distribution day), partnered with Grow Food Northampton to support our procurement of fresh local produce for the CFDP. We asked Marty to share more about their motivation for the founding of Local Roots Care: 

Why did you initiate Local Roots Care?
With the pandemic crisis closing schools and farmers’ markets of all kinds, it seemed clear that buying what our local farms produce and distributing it to those with now even more food insecurity would be helpful -- hopefully avoiding waste and debt.

How did you bring your friends and fellow donors into Local Roots Care? What did you tell them about the efforts of Grow Food Northampton and the importance of this work?
A half dozen couples saw the value of keeping farms economically viable during this time so that they will be still be here when the pandemic ends. GFN's relationships with farms, schools, and food distribution was clearly a perfect conduit for our funds. The expanded collaboration with the Survival Center and the Northampton Public Schools’ breakfast and lunch distribution proves it.

Why are you so passionate about supporting local farms?
I think all businesses are community businesses since you can't have one without the other. Health, education, arts, food, and shelter are cornerstones of what make communities what they are, and strengthening these pillars gives us a chance to be sustainable, not just charitable. 

What's your favorite vegetable and how do you like to prepare it?
So many, but right now I'm feeling onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes, sliced.

Local Roots Care is joined in funding Grow Food Northampton’s Community Food Distribution Project efforts by many other generous individual donors and several wonderful institutional funders including:The Community Foundation of Western MA, Harvard Pilgrim Foundation, Whalen Insurance, Florence Bank, and the United Way of Hampshire County

Making Art to Feed the Community

Kyra Anderson is offering continuous line drawings in exchange for donations to GFN!
Northampton artist and life coach Kyra Anderson has launched a creative fundraiser to benefit the Community Food Distribution Project. As she explains in the short video above, for a donation of $25 - $100 (or more!) to Grow Food Northampton, Kyra will do a custom continuous line drawing for you. Thank you, Kyra!
Click here for the details on Kyra's fundraiser!

Tuesday Market Update

We are *this close* to being able to announce the opening date for Tuesday Market which, under normal circumstances, would have started this week. The market may look different when we open with new safety systems, rules, and ways to shop, but will continue to be your source for extraordinary locally-grown produce and other farm products. We will keep you posted as things develop. For now, you can support our vendors in many ways:  check it out

Grow Food Kids: Connecting Virtually

It's been exciting for the Grow Food Kids team to switch gears from daily classroom cooking workshops to replicating some of the curriculum to be enjoyed by students at home. This week our Youth Educator, Melissa, read a Grow Food Kids favorite book, Little Apple Goat, from her home. Enjoy the story and check out our growing list of videos on our YouTube channel!

Live from the Giving Garden!

To celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday, we did our first ever Facebook Live video at the Giving Garden. Ellena (seen above seeding a cover crop of oats and peas) and Melissa gave us a tour of the greenhouse where things are beginning to grow for the season. We're planning on weekly Facebook Live tours of the Giving Garden. Follow along to watch things grow! 

Good News Care Package

In case you missed it, a little “care package” of good news was sent to your inbox last week; here's a link. Watch for future editions to keep your spirits up, including updates on our resident killdeer family at the garden!
Please DONATE to support our work!
The Giving Garden is funded by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

Thanks to our featured Business Sponsors!

Curran & Keegan Financial

Copyright © 2020 Grow Food Northampton, Inc., All rights reserved.

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