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Nourishing Our Community and the Earth

Dear Friend,

For me, the holiday of Thanksgiving is an opportunity to look beyond the mainstream myth about pilgrims and the Indigenous people of what is now North America sharing an autumn harvest feast together. It’s a time to learn more about Indigenous history and lifeways, dig deeper into the realities of settler colonialism and dispossession in its many forms and locations historical and current, and identify the ways in which I can be more proactive in opposing social injustices.

This year during the holiday, I learned more about the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address that Robin Wall Kimmerer evokes in her amazing book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. The Thanksgiving Address is a prayer and invocation of the Haudenosaunee, the Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora, that is recited as a daily sunrise prayer and as an opening and closing for social and religious gatherings. As I understand it, the Thanksgiving Address celebrates the inextricable relationship between everything that is life-sustaining – people, plants, trees, water, air, animals, and Mother Earth -- and expresses wonder and thanks for all of these things. Robin Kimmerer writes of the prayer that, “You can’t listen to the Thanksgiving Address without feeling wealthy. And, while expressing gratitude seems innocent enough, it is a revolutionary idea.”

As the year draws to a close, I’m all geared up to foment a revolution of gratitude! I love the community we have created at Grow Food Northampton (GFN). I feel moved every day by the commitment the GFN staff, board of directors, and Food Access Advisory Committee members bring to the food access, land access and stewardship, and education work that we do. I am grateful for the farmers who grow food on the GFN Community Farm, and each and every gardener who, in community, grows food for themselves, their families, and their neighbors at the GFN Organic Community Garden. I appreciate the interns and volunteers that dedicate their time, expertise, and passion to our work. I’m thrilled each week to see the farmers and craftspeople that come from all over the Valley to sell their beautiful produce and wares at GFN’s farmers markets, Tuesday Market and Winter Market. I’m in love with all of you who support our work by shopping at the markets, telling your friends about Grow Food Northampton, attending our educational programming, making generous donations, and sustaining with us the vision of a robust local food and farming system for our region. 

Thank you, friends! Thank you for your support in all the ways! Thank you to those of you who have already made a year-end donation to keep GFN financially healthy. If you haven’t made a gift yet this season, or you are able to contribute one more time, you will help continue to create a just and sustainable local food system that nourishes our community and the earth.

With gratitude,

Alisa Klein
Executive Director

GFN Food Access Team Delivers Holiday Spirit and More

The GFN Food Access team has been busy this fall, transitioning to a resident-led free Mobile Market system, hosting several events, and during Thanksgiving week, a Holiday Box distribution. Our spirited crew delivered 120 whole chickens and all the fixings for delicious local meals to residents at nine subsidized housing communities in Northampton and Florence. 

Check out this recent blog post to learn more about the Holiday Box distribution, including the recipes that were included with the food package, and the video cooking demonstrations that were filmed for the holiday. Big shout out to the Grow Food Northampton Food Access Advisory Committee (FAAC) member, Shaker, who filmed and edited the videos and FAAC and GFN board member, Kia, who was a natural in front of the camera. 

To read even more about the free Mobile Markets, read GFN's Writer-in-Residence Francie Lin's latest article featured in the Daily Hampshire Gazette

Winter Market - Mark Your Calendars 

The Winter Market is up and running and back to pre-covid size on alternating Saturdays at the Northampton Senior Center. The next market is on December 19. Perfect timing for stocking up on some sweet local finds for holiday gifts. Local food and handmade items make the very best gifts!

Winter Market
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Northampton Senior Center
December 19, January 14 and 28, February 11 and 25, March 11 and 25

Stay up to date on all of the GFN Farmers Market happenings with our weekly market newsletter. If you aren't receiving it, adjust your preferences at the bottom of this email.

Seeking Business Partners to Help Address Food Insecurity

Do you own a business, want to ensure that everyone in our community has access to healthy local farm foods, and want to increase your visibility amongst thousands of downtown shoppers? 

If so, we have the opportunity for you! We are currently seeking business sponsors to fund our SNAP Match program in 2023 at Grow Food Northampton’s vibrant farmers markets, Tuesday Market and the Winter Market. The SNAP Match program doubles the spending power of SNAP (food stamp) recipients at the markets so they can buy more fresh, local farm food. Every sponsorship dollar goes directly to individuals and families grappling with food insecurity, and in turn, to the farmers from whom they are purchasing.  
There are three different levels of sponsorship available and each level offers your business great exposure and visibility at the markets that are attended by thousands of shoppers each year. Find out more! Contact GFN’s Development Director, Corey Kurtz at: or (413) 320-4799, x116.

An Easy Way to Help - Vote for GFN!

Calling all Florence Bank customers!

We need your help! Florence Bank is awarding a total of $125,000 to nonprofits throughout the region, based on votes from their Bank customers. We need your support.

Simply follow this link to cast your vote for Grow Food Northampton today.

Donate Today and Double Your Impact

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has already donated to the Fall Matching Challenge! If you haven't participated, it's not too late...

A group of GFN supporters will match every donation dollar for dollar, up to a total of $40,000. But only if you give by December 31st. Please help reach the challenge goal in time! 

Give now at: 
Or mail your gift to: 
Grow Food Northampton
221 Pine Street #349 
Florence, MA 01062
(Gifts postmarked by 12/31 will be counted in 2022.)

Funding Updates

This month, we are grateful for two new institutional funding sources for our work. The first, a Local Food Purchase Assistance grant, funded through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), is Grow Food Northampton’s largest grant to date. GFN will partner with River Valley Co-op to provide technical support to state-defined “socially disadvantaged” local producers and purchase products from them for distribution to food insecure households throughout the Northampton area. The second grant is a Flexible Funding grant from the Community Foundation of Western MA to assist GFN with core operating support expenses as we pursue racial justice training for our organization and host on the Community Farm research projects on agricultural practices that enhance climate resilience. We are deeply appreciative of the trust placed in us by these funding partners and are gratified that they understand the importance of creating an equitable, racially just, and strong local food system that nourishes all members of our community and enhances our region’s climate resilience.

What We Are Learning

We at Grow Food Northampton understand that Thanksgiving is a holiday fraught with problematic origins. While we commemorate an autumn feast between the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag people in 1621, what actually followed was centuries of genocide and the colonization of what we call the United States today. It wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated each November. 

Check out this interactive map made by the Canadian non-profit Native Land Digital to learn more about the land that we now inhabit. We hope that you'll consider donating directly to whatever local nations originated on the land you currently inhabit. For us at Grow Food Northampton that's the Nipmuc, Pocutumc, and Nonotuck Nations.

Policy Advocacy Corner

Governor-Elect Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Kim Driscoll are asking their future constituents – us! – to help them shape their policy agenda for the Commonwealth. This is a wonderful opportunity to let them know how important it is for our state to dedicate resources to the creation of strong local and regional food systems throughout the Commonwealth. Click on this link to tell them how important a just local food and farming system is for our community. This can include things like financial assistance for farms and the nonprofit organizations like Grow Food Northampton that support them, enabling local food system education for all ages in our public schools, and ensuring that ALL residents of MA have access to fresh, healthy, local foods. Tell them what you think it takes to strengthen our local food system!


Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Funders!

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