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Whiting Street Fund Committee Seeks Grant Applications from Local Agencies and Organizations to Address Food Insecurity
Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced today that the newly formed Whiting Street Fund Committee has issued its first-ever request for grant applications from local organizations and agencies to address food insecurity. The Committee, an advisory body comprised of five residents appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council, is charged with overseeing the distribution of income earned on a fund held in trust by the City of Northampton. The Whiting Street Fund Committee was newly constituted in 2017, replacing the former Board of Almoners at the end of 2016 pursuant to an administrative order issued by Mayor Narkewicz.
Mr. Whiting Street, a successful Northampton businessman, left $25,000 to the City of Northampton in his 1875 will. He also donated sums to 21 other communities in Hampshire and Hampden counties. Street, who reportedly valued thrift and hard work, attached certain stipulations to his gift, instructing that the money be used “for the relief and comfort of the worthy poor”. The former Board of Almoners distributed funds on an as-requested basis from the Whiting Street Trust directly to residents it deemed “worthy.” The new Whiting Street Fund Committee is charged with distributing monies from the fund to local organizations and agencies that serve low-income city residents.
After reviewing a broad range of community needs, the Committee decided to focus on food insecurity for its first distribution of funds in 2018. Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life due to a lack of financial resources for food at the household level. Applicants for a Whiting Street Fund grant must be a not-for-profit organization or governmental agency and all funds must be used for direct service to city residents. Pursuant to the will, the total annual distribution shall be restricted to interest earned on the trust fund and therefore, the Committee will recommend to the Mayor that for 2018 up to $20,000 be distributed as either single or multiple grants. Applications are due on January 5, 2018 and are available on the city website at: http://www.northamptonma.gov/216/whiting-street-fund-committee. Awards will be made by February 1, 2018. For more information please contact City Treasurer/Collector Kristine Bissell at email@example.com or by calling 413-587-1296.