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Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced today that the Whiting Street Fund Committee has issued its annual request for grant applications from local organizations and agencies and will again, in 2020, seek proposals from organizations helping 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. Mr. Whiting Street, a successful Northampton businessman, left $25,000 to the City of Northampton in his will in 1875. 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”.
In 2019, the Whiting Street Fund Committee recommended the distribution of $25,000 to four local organizations. The Manna Soup Kitchen received $10,000 for the purchase a walk-in freezer/cooler which enabled them to leverage the abundant generosity of the local farms in the valley to provide the over 25,000 healthy, tasty meals over the past year. The Northampton Survival Center received $5,000 to provide fresh produce each week to over 1,100 households in Northampton. Grow Food Northampton received $5,000 to support their incentive based Food Access Initiatives which reached 329 low-income Northampton families, making it more convenient and more affordable for low-income residents to purchase healthy food produced by local farmers. Abundance Farm received $5,000 to support their Pick Your Own Community Harvest Program which reached 1,104 people, allowing participants to choose their own produce from the farm on a weekly basis. In 2020, the Committee will again be charged with recommending the distribution of $25,000, as either single or multiple grants, from the Whiting Street Trust. 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. Applications are due on January 10, 2020 and are available on the city website at: 2020 Whiting Street Fund Application. Awards will be made on or before February 1, 2020. For more information please contact the City Treasurer/Collector Kristine Bissell at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 413 587-1296.