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Food Bank Of Western Massachusetts Starts Construction Of New Headquarters In Chicopee

Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in Chicopee secures $5M in funding

Posted: May 26, 2022 / 06:12 PM EDT

Posted: May 26, 2022 / 06:12 PM EDT

HATFIELD, Mass. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will officially start the construction phase for its larger and greener food distribution center and headquarters with an event in Chicopee on June 2.

According to the news release sent to 22News by the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the private event will take place in the Chicopee Business Park at the construction site and future location of the food bank. Scheduled speakers at the groundbreaking include Mayor John Vieau of Chicopee, Congressman Richard Neal, and Congressman Jim McGovern. All three lawmakers have been highly supportive of the Food Banks expansion and planned move to Hampden County, where more than half of the individuals who receive food assistance from The Food Bank reside.

Other invited speakers include Laura Canter, Executive Vice President of MassDevelopment, Michelle LeClair, Chief Investment Officer of Mascoma Community Development, and Matt Bannister, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Responsibility of PeoplesBank.

Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of The Food Bank, will explain how the new facility and a move to Hampden County will strengthen food security in the entire region.

How The New Farm Works

Like the existing 59-acre Food Bank Farm, which we have owned since 1992, we contract local farmers who grow organic vegetables for the community, including households at risk of hunger. In lieu of cash rent, The Food Bank receives a share of the harvest, agreed upon in advance. In this case, instead of partnering with a farmer who sells shares to shareholders, the farmers of the new Food Bank Farm will sell most of their share of the harvest to schools in high-poverty school districts.

Farmers Joe Czajkowski, owner of Lakeside Organics adjacent to this farm, and Gideon Porth, owner of Atlas Farm, combined are farming about 35 acres. A small portion of this farm has become a model no till farm where The Food Bank, volunteers, and school groups work together to grow and harvest crops while learning about sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, and food access for all. The Kestrel Land Trust retains a trail easement over the farm for walking on designated farm roads that link to the conservation lands on the Amherst side.

Growth Is On The Menu

A rendering of the future Chicopee home of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, set to open in 2023.

While it manages an impressive flow of food from numerous sources to the people who need it most, in recent years, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has been doing that job in a space thats not sufficient for the work. That will change with the opening, in 2023, of a new headquarters in Chicopee that will more than double the organizations space and allow it to serve more people with more food and more nutrition and educations in effect, expanding the menu of whats possible at a time when the need is great.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts was launched in a Hadley barn 40 years ago. Four years later, it relocated to its current facility in Hatfield.

Today, as one of four regional food banks in Massachusetts, the organization provides food to 172 food pantries, meal sites, and shelters in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. Its food sources include the state and federal government, local farms including two of its own retail and wholesale food businesses, community organizations, and individual donations.

The organization also provides other forms of food assistance, such as nutrition workshops, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program enrollment assistance, and education, public-policy advocacy, and engagement around issues of food insecurity.

Those are gratifying numbers, Morehouse said.

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Food Bank Of Western Massachusetts

My role as the Food Assistance Referral Coordinator for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is to ensure that patients at Holyoke and Chicopee Health Centers who screen positive for food insecurity receive a referral that will connect them with the Food Banks emergency food network and other kinds of help such as finding housing, employment opportunities, English classes, fuel assistance, and healthy living programs just to name a few!

My typical day begins with connecting with referral specialists from three departments at the Holyoke Health Center beginning with Pediatrics, followed by Adult Medicine, and finishing with Family Practice. After I receive each referral, I add them to the Oasis Insight, which is a software program we use to create cases and connect patients to other partner organizations for services they might need other than emergency food access.

At both centers, every patient is asked the following two questions:

  • In the last 12 months have you worried whether food would run out before you had money to buy more?
  • Did the food that you bought actually run out and you didnt have money to buy more?
  • I end the call on a positive note with an open invitation to the patient and their family for a fun and free community dinner held twice a month in Holyoke.

    Deepening Roots In The Pioneer Valley

    The Food Bank of Western MA

    Aerial view of the new Food Bank Farm

    After years of searching with the support of the Kestrel Land Trust, The Food Bank is now the proud owner of its second Food Bank Farm and probably the only one of the 200 food banks nationally. This new 142-acre farm in Hadley builds on the success of our first Food Bank Farm also in Hadley. It represents our unique approach to food banking not to rely exclusively on donated food from food retailers and commodities from state and federal governments. Instead, it is an investment in local farmland for farmers to strengthen our local food economy while also providing a reliable source of healthy organic food for those who need it mostespecially during these difficult times.

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    Guidos Round Up At Checkout

    Now – August 2022Guido’s Fresh Marketplace

    Give back to your community every time you shop at Guidos Fresh Marketplace! Round up your total to the nearest dollar at checkout. The difference will be donated to The Food Bank. Every $1 = 4 meals.


    When you shop for Dr. Hauschka natural skin care, a percentage of sales will benefit The Food Bank. Learn more about this loyalty program and how it will help provide fresh produce from local farms to nourish our neighbors.


    Through a special partnership with Berkshire Brewing Company, 10% of gross sales of their Shabadoo Black & Tan Ale is donated to The Food Bank to support our mission.

  • How To Use The Food Bank Agency Locator

    To use enter a zip code, city or town name, or full street address as your location. Please note that most programs have limitations on the geographic area they serve. If you live in a different area than the program you plan to visit, it is best to call ahead for more information. Search results are displayed by distance from the location entered. You may need to increase the number of locations displayed in order to find multiple sites within a given zip code.

    Please note: Food pantries and community meal programs both assist families and individuals that are in need of food assistance at no cost. A food pantry provides groceries to prepare at home. A community meal program serves meals in a communal setting.

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    Food Bank Of Western Massachusetts Groundbreaking In Chicopee

    CHICOPEE, Mass. Construction has officially begun at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts new facility in Chicopee.

    The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is just on the cusp of their goal of $26.4 million. The funding for the new building comes from state and federal funds as well as private donations and it comes at an important time.

    We actually had to turn over a million pounds of donated food away over the last three years because there wasnt any place to put it, said Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of the Food Bank.

    The new building in Chicopee will be twice the size of the old one serving more people in this fight to end hunger.

    We want to be able to receive as much as we can and get it out as many people as we can. Heathy food whenever they need it now, tomorrow, next year for decades to come, said Morehouse.

    In Hampden County, the food bank served more than 180,000 people in the fiscal year of 2021. Almost a third of that food was fresh fruit and vegetables. Food insecurity, an issue that impacts many but few talk about.

    Chicopee Mayor John Vieau said its an experience hes seen growing up in Willimansett, When your fathers out of work and goes to the pantry and brings home the box with the government cheese and peanut butter, and its literally a celebration in your house its something that I remember and its a reality for many people.

    Brown Bag: Food For Elders

    Food Bank of Western Massachusetts receives large donation from Enterprise

    Our Brown Bag: Food for Elders program provides a free bag of healthy groceries to eligible seniors once a month at local senior centers and community organizations. The food items are specifically selected to meet their special dietary requirements theyre low in sugar and salt, and high in the nutrients elders need to stay healthy and active.

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    The Food Bank Of Western Massachusetts

    The Food Bank of Western MAs Food Assistance Navigation Program connects community members to needed food and other community services. It is using to refer and track assistance to other services to provide wraparound support for people in need.

    • Connects you to other agencies that can provide help in your community
    • Provides follow-up to ensure you receive the services you want and need

    State Approves $95 Million Bond For Food Bank Of Western Mass Headquarters

    MassDevelopment has issued a $9.5 million tax-exempt bond for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to build and outfit a new headquarters in Chicopee. The state says the 63,000-square-foot building at the Chicopee River Business Park is expected to open in summer 2023.

    The Food Bank has been operating out of a 30,000-square foot site in Hatfield and the move is expected to increase the nonprofits capacity to serve community members.

    With severe space constraints at our current facility, forcing us to turn away food donations, this critically-important financing enables us not a moment too soon to build our future home and move into it, said The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Executive Director Andrew Morehouse.

    In February, Governor Charlie Bakers administration awarded a $1.6 million grant to the city of Chicopee to support the relocation of the headquarters. Late last year, the state also approved $5 million in federal COVID-19 relief money for the move. The project is expected to cost $22 million.

    In 2021, The Food Bank provided 11.6 million meals and reached an average of 103,000 individuals per month.

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    • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

    Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The data on this page is also based on data sources collected from public and open data sources on the Internet and other locations, as well as proprietary data we licensed from other companies. Sources of data may include, but are not limited to, the BLS, company filings, estimates based on those filings, H1B filings, and other public and private datasets. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of this information. None of the information on this page has been provided or approved by The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and its employees or that of Zippia.

    The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts may also be known as or be related to THE FOOD BANK OF WESTERN, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and The Foodbank of Western MA.

    Agency: The Food Bank Of Western Massachusetts Inc

    The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

    The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Mobile Food Bank delivers a truck full of free fresh and non-perishable groceries from our warehouse directly to a community site for immediate distribution to residents. Once or twice a month, year-round, the program reaches under-served populations throughout Western Massachusetts that dont have access to healthy foods, including families, seniors and children.The Mobile Food Bank program provides fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods to individuals of all ages. There are no eligibility requirements and no verifications are required to receive food from our Mobile Food Bank. Anyone in need of assistance can attend. Its a good idea to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to distribution time, and bring with you boxes or bags to carry your food.In addition to food distribution, the Food Bank also serves as an important resource to all of our member agencies to help strengthen the emergency food network, increase their capacity, and develop long-term projects to fight the underlying causes of hunger in our community.

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    Food Bank Of Western Massachusetts Honors Volunteers With Partner Appreciation Days

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has been honoring members of the Frontline Emergency Food Network with a series of four Partner Appreciation Days as part of its 40th anniversary commemoration.

    Monday nights event took place at the Carriage House at Barney Estate in Springfield.

    It featured shared remarks from food bank staff, partners, and legislators.

    Executive Director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Andrew Morehouse spoke with Western Mass News at the event and said staff members and volunteers deserve to be appreciated, especially after the pandemic.

    At great risk to themselves, the volunteers and the staff of the 108 pantries and meal sites here in Hampden County found ways to adapt and be creative to make sure folks who couldnt get to meal sites and pantries could get to the food, Morehouse told us.

    He went on to say that staff members and volunteers created delivery programs, methods to sign up online to get food, and ways to get people out of their homes to receive food.

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    Snap Outreach & Enrollment

    SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible individuals and families across the country. It is the largest domestic hunger program that serves as an important resource to purchase healthy food. Our SNAP Outreach team assists food insecure households to apply for the program and gather all of the necessary documentation in order to receive benefits. We are available to answer all your questions, provide pre-screening and determine your eligibility.

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    The Food Banks Future Larger And Greener Food Distribution Center And Headquarters

    We are in the final stretch of a major fundraising campaign to build a larger and greener distribution center and headquarters to provide individuals at risk of hunger and our partners with the best possible service. Our new home will be located in the City of Chicopee in the most strategic location available to meet the needs of all the rural, suburban, and urban communities of Western Massachusetts for decades to come.

    The Food Bank has revised its campaign goal to $26.4 million up from the original $22 million for two reasons:

  • Increases in the cost of construction materials associated with disruptions to supply chains due to the pandemic.
  • A Food Bank commitment to prevailing wages to uphold our mission, which helped secure a $5 million investment from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • To date, we have raised 98 percent of our goal with about $1.0 million more to raise. Funding commitments include federal and state grants , individual gifts , federal New Market Tax Credit investment , and corporate gifts .

    The Food Bank Of Western Mass

    Food bank of western Massachusetts is raising awareness of food insecurity

    Hatfield, MA

    Working to end hunger in Western Massachusetts since 1982. A member of the Feeding America network.

    The mission of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is to feed our neighbors in need and lead the community to end hunger. The Food Bank works behind the scenes of nearly every local charitable organization that provides emergency food to people in need in our region.

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    Feeding Our Neighbors In Need And Leading The Community To End Hunger

    Since 1982, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has been feeding our neighbors in need and leading the community to end hunger. We distribute food to our members in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties.

  • Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge MA

    Connect with friends and fellow supporters of The Food Bank to Gather in the Garden a charming outdoor gathering thoughtfully catered by Manna Catering Company and Guidos Fresh Marketplace.

  • Construction Begins For Food Banks New Chicopee Location

    CHICOPEE, MA – Construction for the new Food Bank of Western Massachusetts officially kicked off on Thursday. Its a project that had faced pushback from some area residents.

    This is going to be the hub of food security for western Mass. and points beyond, said Chicopee Mayor John Vieau.

    The food bank is moving its headquarters from Hatfield to the city of Chicopee in an effort to expand after more than one million pounds of food donations had to be turned away due to a lack of storage over the past three and a half years.

    Food donations like the ones just mentioned will be able to make sure they get to where they need to go, Vieau added.

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic followed by inflation causing food prices to sky rocket, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is seeing an increase in demand.

    That really increased the need for food assistance in our region and that problem has just gotten larger…This could not have come at a better time, said one woman at Thursdays ceremony

    This new center will double the organizations warehouse capacity and its ability to accept and distribute food.

    Nearly a dozen state and local leaders came out to support Thursdays groundbreaking at the Chicopee River Business Park including Vieau, who shared a personal connection to the project.

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