Grants Available for Local Farmers

The Recorder, January 6th, 2016

For a second year, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, together with Big Y supermarkets, plans to support local farmers with projects that will help improve their farm business, and is expanding the program from $75,000 to $100,000.

The awards helped 33 farms in the Pioneer and Franklin County last year with grants of up to $2,500 each, through Communities Involved in Sustaining Agriculture and Berkshire Grown. There were 88 applicants.

The deadline for farmers to apply for awards for equipment and farm improvements is Jan. 31. Information is available online.

Grinspoon, a Springfield area philanthropist who grew up during the Depression selling his father’s vegetables in the Boston suburbs, originally planned for a $50,000 grant program for 2015 but soon expanded it to last year’s $75,000 total because of the level of interest.

Charles L. D’Amour, president and COO for Big Y says “Big Y has been supporting local farmers since we began 80 years ago. Through our partnership with the Grinspoon Foundation, we are providing one more way to help the local growers to thrive in our community”.

“We are so pleased to continue to work with everyone involved in this unique farm awards program to support the vital role family farms play in our communities,” said Philip Korman, CISA executive director.

Ben Clark, whose family’s 100-year-old fruit farm used a $2,500 grant award to replace some of its fruit trees, said that unlike state and federal grants he also applies for with “very, very time-consuming” applications and often slow delays in getting the money, the Grinspoon grant was simple to apply for.

David Paysnick of Rainbow Harvest Farms in Greenfield, used his grant to build a water catchment canopy to provide water for his Adams Road farm and to provide shelter for farm equipment.