Dear Friend, 

As always at this time of year, every fiber of Grow Food Northampton is vibrating, albeit at a slightly different frequency this time around. Part of our attention is solidly in the present: growing and distributing abundant produce from the Giving Garden; training our new Food Access Coordinator, Francie Lin, and ramping up purchases from local farms for the Community Food Distribution Project; and creating outdoor opportunities for connection with local food and farming at Tuesday Market and the Community Garden. 

Another part of our attention is looking forward. We have been meeting with teachers and administrators at the Northampton Public Schools to plan how Grow Food Kids will play a role in the challenging school year ahead. Despite so much uncertainty, we will be offering place-based, hands-on experiences for students one way or another! Ideas we’re considering include creating kits and activities for students to grow and cook at home.

On top of all of this, we are redefining Grow Food Northampton’s values, clarifying our mission, and planning for an impactful future for our organization that is centered in racial and social equity, stewardship of the land, and engagement with our community, as we head into our second decade.

With gratitude, 

Michael Skillicorn
Associate Director

Thank you, Melissa!

After 11 months of service as our TerraCorps Youth Education Coordinator, Melissa Ward, finished out her term at the end of July. We will miss her so!

Melissa jumped right in as a hard-working teammate last summer. She helped to shape and run our Grow Food Kids programming including field trips and in-class cooking workshops, helped run food access programs, and tended the Giving Garden. When the pandemic hit, Melissa gracefully pivoted with the rest of us to build great packets of at-home fun for kids, as well as taking on responsibilities with the Community Food Distribution Project and continuing the great work in the garden. All throughout these months, Melissa has contributed in countless ways big and small. Thank you, Melissa!

Local food, prepared with love!

As Grow Food Northampton has conducted the Community Food Distribution Project (CFDP) over the last four and a half months, it has been our pleasure to also support the good work that others are doing in our community to address food insecurity during the pandemic. Community-minded businesses Belly of the Beast and Haymarket Cafe have been providing prepared meals for those who need it, which are distributed on Tuesdays and Thursdays along with school meals for students, and the CFDP fresh local produce and other groceries. Grow Food Northampton has begun purchasing produce from local farms for these restaurants to cook with, in addition to the produce we buy for food distributions and school meals. 

Aimee Francaes, owner of Belly of the Beast said, "It’s is our whole-hearted belief that every person should have access to healthy, nutritious food. We believe that the most nutrient-dense produce is sourced as locally as possible, which is why we are humbled to partner with Grow Food Northampton and our greater guest community in supporting the wholesome food of local farms for this program. We are so pleased to be doing our small part to help close the food insecurity gap in our community." The meals incorporate a base carb, high-protein, and vegetable for a well-balanced meal and the folks at Iconica round it out with a small sweet (a mini muffin or small piece of cake). 

Haymarket Cafe has always put their values first in every aspect of their business for almost 30 years, so it's no surprise they found new ways to connect people to food during the pandemic. Check out this great video featuring Haymarket owner Peter Simpson, telling the story of the cafe's inspiring mission. 

By the numbers: to date, Belly of the Beast has provided over 2,000 meals to individuals experiencing food insecurity! Haymarket Cafe is donating 600+ meals a week!

Learn more about the Northampton Public Schools Meal Distribution
Click here for Food Pick-Up and Delivery DAYS, TIMES and LOCATIONS and more information about the CFDP

Interested in Volunteering? 

Thank you to the many volunteers who have helped us launch and run the Community Food Distribution Project and to those who have helped us implement new safety systems at Tuesday Market. We've been so lucky that so many generous, hard-working and fun people have joined us!

Our need for volunteers continues; if you're interested, look here for more information.

See you at Tuesday Market!

Every Tuesday from 1:30-6:30, Downtown Northampton

Tuesday Market is continuing to provide a safe place for you to shop with an extensive selection of local food every week. Crops that have come in recently are corn, so many varieties of tomatoes, peaches, and eggplant. In the coming weeks, we will start to see more fruit -- nectarines, pears, apples, and more! 

Want the latest info about Tuesday Market each week? Change your settings at the bottom of this email to receive a short Tuesday Market email, a few photos, and the weekly vendor lineup each Monday. 

Bountiful days in the Giving Garden!

It is the height of the season at the Giving Garden.  We've been harvesting and delivering hundreds of pounds of fresh produce on a weekly basis to Star Light Center, Manna Community Kitchen, Easthampton Community Center, and CSO Respite. So far we have delivered over 3,700 pounds of 25 different crops!

We have been lucky to have a great team of interns and volunteers this season, including students from Mt. Holyoke and Smith Colleges, a TerraCorps-Americorps member, and many neighbors and community volunteers. Everyone has been supportive to keep physical distancing and safety protocols in the garden so that we are able to create a safe and nurturing work environment during the pandemic.

Since we have not been able to host groups in the Giving Garden in the same way as in past years, we have been broadcasting weekly live videos from the garden since April to showcase what we're excited about. Check out our past videos of Facebook Live here.

We are still hosting volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering in the Giving Garden during one of our weekly slots in August or September, please sign up here!  We would love your help.

Shout out to our Food Access Heroes! 

We are so grateful for the ways our community has shown up these past 5 months since the pandemic hit. With joy and passion, teachers, food service staff, restaurant staff, and our neighbors have jumped right in to get food to those who need it most. It has been empowering to see such heroes in action and we know there are many more in our community and across the Valley. We are happy to shine a light on some of these heroes. 

Pictured above is the Northampton Public School's Food Service Director, Mistelle Hannah. Mistelle has prioritized local food from day one. When the pandemic began, she quickly shifted gears and gracefully led the Food Service Department in providing meals for students.

Look here for a bunch of awesome Food Access Heroes! And follow @freshhampton on Instagram for more of the great Farm to School work that's happening in Northampton. 

At Home Fun from Grow Food Kids

Grow Food KidsEven though it’s summer, we’ve continued to put together packets of activities and more for Northampton families to enjoy at home. We include these in the Summer Meals distributed by the Northampton Public Schools and at our Community Food Distributions. Check out the latest activities below plus links to our past supplements for hours of fun!

Grow Food Kids: At Home Vol. 1

Grow Food Kids: At Home Vol. 2

Grow Food Kids: At Home Vol. 3

Grow Food Kids at Home Vol. 4

Send us photos of you making the recipes or doing the activities via emailFacebook or Instagram -- we’d love to see! 

Donor Spotlight: Markham Nathan Fund and the Lydia B. Stokes Foundation

In addition to the many generous individual donors and foundations that have supported Grow Food Northampton in recent months, we are grateful to two foundations for their support in the last month.

The local Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice awarded Grow Food Northampton a generous sum from their COVID-19 Emergency Grant fund to carry out our Community Food Distribution Project work to support local farms and feed members of the community experiencing food insecurity in the pandemic.

The Lydia B. Stokes Foundation, a consistent and generous funder of our work that is dedicated to supporting regenerative organic agriculture and the development of local food systems, also provided us with funding for the CFDP and our general operations.

Thank you to both of these magnificent community partners for making the work that we do possible!
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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