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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 2019, 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 2018, the Whiting Street Fund Committee recommended the distribution of $20,000 to three local organizations. The Manna Soup Kitchen received $10,000 which was used to purchase a used van to replace their worn out vehicle. A working van is essential to the operations as it is used to retrieve food donations as well as for meal and food delivery to local shelters. The Northampton Survival Center received $5000 to support their Basic Nutritional Needs Program which provides a healthy seven day supply of food for each member of every household that seeks assistance. Grow Food Northampton received $5000 to support their four incentive based Food Access Initiatives which make it more convenient and more affordable for low-income residents to purchase health food produced by local farmers.
In 2019, the Committee will again be charged with recommending the distribution of $20,000, 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 December 21, 2108 and are available on the city website at: 2019 Whiting Street Fund Application
Awards will be made on or before February 1, 2019. For more information please contact City Treasurer/Collector Kristine Bissell at email@example.com or by calling 413-587-1296.