Regional Notebook: Sept. 29, 2022


Published: 9/29/2022 5:26:42 PM
Blais schedules meet-and-greets across district

State Rep. Natalie M. Blais, D-Deerfield, has announced several meet-and-greet opportunities in October across the soon-to-be-reconfigured 1st Franklin District.

“Redistricting significantly changed the lines of the 1st Franklin District,” she said in a press release. “I’ve been working hard to get to know all of the new towns and create opportunities to hear directly from residents about what is important to them.”

The reconfigured 1st Franklin District includes Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, Rowe, Shelburne, Sunderland, Whately and precincts 5, 6, 7 and 8 in Greenfield.

The meet-and-greets will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. at Griswold Memorial Library in Colrain; and Saturday, Oct. 15, from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Charlemont Transfer Station and 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. at the Heath Transfer Station.

Blais, who is running unopposed for reelection on Nov. 8, has represented the 1st Franklin District since January 2019. She is vice chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. Blais is also a member of the Joint Committees on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development; Transportation; and Ways and Means.

Rachel’s Table celebrating 30 years

SPRINGFIELD — Rachel’s Table, a food rescue and redistribution program of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

“For the past 30 years, we have pivoted with the changing times, evolved from a charity to a holistic food justice-based model, and mobilized people to bring to life the food-rescue-with-dignity vision that our founders dreamed about,” Jodi Falk, director of Rachel’s Table, said in a press release. “While we will continue to pivot and evolve to remain relevant to those we serve, delivering food and relieving hunger in a dignified way will never change. We will remain committed to only delivering food that we ourselves would eat, and meeting food gaps in our community.”

“We are very proud of Rachel’s Table’s achievements and look forward to seeing it grow further and continue to help our community thrive,” Nora Gorenstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, said in a press release. “Rachel’s Table has achieved a lot over the past 30 years, and we are excited to be alongside them, cheering and nurturing them as they look forward to the next 30 years.”

Rachel’s Table provides services such as immediate food rescue, community engagement and food sustainability programs designed for greater equity. According to the release, it has grown from primarily serving greater Springfield to serving more than 50 organizations in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.

Throughout this year, Rachel’s Table will expand many of its initiatives, the release states. These include:

■Providing a larger volume of food to partner agencies with the arrival of a new refrigerated van starting in the fall.

■Working with grocery stores like Inter Produce, wholesalers like C&S, universities across the Pioneer Valley and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to enhance its meat, dairy and produce deliveries to partner agencies.

■Expanding the cohort criteria for Growing Gardens — a food justice and equity initiative where agencies that serve the food insecure can grow their own food in collaboration with constituents — to include more diverse partners, including seniors, people with disabilities or without housing, and families in transition.

■Kicking off another year of the Teen Board program consisting of teens who support planning and mapping new directions for Rachel’s Table to focus on food equity and justice work.

■Expanding support to locally settled refugees while they wait for government services.

■Expanding Bea’s Harvest to include agency gleaning for constituents to glean for themselves and others, and extending on-call gleaning to encourage more residents to harvest produce to donate throughout the Pioneer Valley.

To learn more about the organization, visit

Department of
Resources seeks survey responses

The state Department of Agricultural Resources is seeking responses to a survey on health and wellness in the farming community with the goal of identifying the conditions impacting the agricultural community’s health.

To participate, visit The survey, which is being managed by Applied Marketing Science Inc., will take five to seven minutes to complete. Responses will be kept anonymous.

With questions about the survey, email


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy