Big Y in the News
Headquartered in Springfield, MA, Big Y is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England. Proud to be family owned and operated, we operate almost 80 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts with over 11,000 employees. Big Y has been named a 2015 Employer of Choice by the Employers Association of the Northeast. Founded in 1936 by brothers Paul and Gerald D'Amour, the store was named after an intersection in Chicopee, Massachusetts where two roads converge to form a "Y".
Big Y in the News contains excerpts from press releases that have been sent to local media.
Big Y's Local Farmer Program Funds 81 New Infrastructure Projects
AGAWAM, MA [June 16, 2021] – The Local Farmer Awards program, funded since 2015 by community philanthropic leaders and businesses, recently distributed checks of up to $2,500 to 81 farmers in Western Massachusetts and Eastern New York. The funds, totaling $180,000, support infrastructure improvements and equipment. “Our local farmers continue to be an intrinsic and crucial part of our communities. We recognize their growing need for assistance now more than ever,” says funding partner Charles D’Amour, Big Y President and CEO. D’Amour continues, “For over 85 years, Big Y has been proud to support hardworking farmers and their families, and as partners with the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation we provide one more way to help our local growers thrive.”
In its short history, the awards program has made over $900,000 available to local growers, who have become better positioned to expand, compete in the marketplace, and provide the public with the health and environmental benefits of local farming.
Not surprisingly, the pandemic fueled a need for some unexpected projects and new equipment. Stillman Quality Meats in Hardwick, MA, won its award to purchase a Commercial Egg Washing Machine necessitated by a 1,000% increase in demand for eggs, a demand now anticipated to grow.
Winner Gideon Porth, owner of Atlas Farm in Deerfield, MA commented, “We are incredibly grateful for funds to buy a flat filling machine for our greenhouse operation, a quantum leap in both labor efficiency and uniformity of flats for seeding. Our plants and people are loving it! ”
Program funders, all of whom recognize the urgent need to invest in local farms, include the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation in partnership with Big Y along with Ann & Steve Davis, DeNucci Group at Merrill Lynch, Farm Credit East, HP Hood LLC, PeoplesBank, Audrey & Chick Taylor, Baystate Health, Country Bank, and others.
Local Farmer Awards Director Cari Carpenter of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation notes that farmers have exhibited enormous persistence, creativity, and great spirit throughout Covid 19. “We are incredibly fortunate to be able to purchase local farm products at farmers markets, farm stands, CSA’s shares (community supported agriculture) and in our grocery stores. We urge all consumers to continue buying local farm products whenever and wherever they can.”
The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF) supports local education, farming, energy, and entrepreneurship initiatives in the western Massachusetts region. Program founder Harold Grinspoon put his roots down in Western Mass more than 60 years ago. His philanthropy, in partnership with others, celebrates the hard work and creativity of many unrecognized people who contribute to the well-being of the entire community. For more information, visit www.hgcf.org.