Community Spotlight: Hilltown Food Pantry

I have worked as the Director of the Hilltown Food Pantry in Goshen for 25 years. When asked why I do this work, one thing that comes to mind is the good, old bumper sticker that reads, “think globally, act locally.” We all hear of the horrible hunger, even starvation for some, all over the world. But we also know that food insecurity and hunger exist right here in Hampshire County. In fact, today, Hampshire County is home to over 30,000 food insecure individuals.

Three decades ago the term “food insecurity” was not familiar to most of us. But some folks in the hilltowns were becoming aware of its reality. They thought that there needed to be a community response, a concerted effort to help our fellow neighbors who were facing a serious need. Hampshire Community Action Corporation (HCAC) responded to help the towns set up two pantries; one to serve the southern hilltowns and one to be located in the northern hilltowns. In 2005 when HCAC was in its final days, David Keilson of Chesterfield stepped forward to find a new parent agency for the Hilltown Pantry. His advocacy worked and the pantry was adopted by Northampton Survival Center.

The Hilltown Pantry had several different locations over the years before moving into the Goshen Town Office Building in the early 2000’s. The Town of Goshen has been a very welcoming and supportive host ever since. This is a regional program serving about 280 individuals from ten communities in Western Hampshire County: Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Haydenville, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, and Worthington. Clients drive sometimes thirty minutes or more to access the pantry at its Rte. 9 location.

The clientele we serve is diverse, including the homeless; folks who are unemployed and waiting for food stamp assistance, or whose benefits have run out; families in crisis after the death or disability of a primary wage-earner; those struggling to reintegrate after serving in the military; and others for whom unexpected life events left them hungry and without a safety net. The children we help feed are growing up not just hungry, but in families that may be isolated, maybe with a parent fleeing abuse, or new to this country. 27% of clients are children under the age of 18, and 18% are seniors. We see about 30 new clients each year. Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Home Garden Exchange (HHuGE) Wagon Opens July 20th!

Share the Abundance of the Hilltowns!
Hilltown Home Garden Exchange (HHuGE)

Hilltown Home Garden Exchange (HHuGE)

Wagon opens July 20th, 2009 at the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA.

Your carrots and tomatoes, your bountiful harvest, yearning to circulate with other plump produce!

That which ye will eat, and rejoice with us as we GIVE and TAKE without charge, with the open neighborly spirit our Hilltowns are known for.


More information at:
or contact Kathy McMahon @ 634-0002 to volunteer

Sponsored by ‘Eating is not an Option,” a growing coalition of local political leaders, Fraternal organizations and non-profits in the Hilltowns, including the Hilltown Food Pantry, Loaves & Fishes and Hilltown Families.

Suggested Events 11/17/07 – 11/23/07


As we celebrate the harvest season this week, it would be a great time of the year to show our kids how we can share with our neighbors. Donating food to your local food bank is one fine way to do so. If you’d like to reach out to other families in our area that are in need, there will be a Food Drive to benefit the Hilltown Food Pantry this Saturday (11/17/07). There will be a curbside drop off happening at 5 Bridge Street in Haydenville, MA, of non-perishables to be delivered to the pantry and distributed to local families. Donations can also be dropped off anytime from now through 12/15/07 at the Legion (same address).



  • Become a Sponsor

To find out how you or your business can help support Hilltown Families by becoming a sponsor, drop us an email or give us a call at 413.296.0096 for more information. We’re offering very reasonable rates throughout the holiday season. By having individuals in our community and area businesses become sponsors, Hilltown Families can continue to offer a weekly list of suggested events, a weekly podcast, updated resources, articles and much more.

  • Submit an Event

If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, or would like to submit your event to the Hilltown Families calendar of Suggested Events, email Sienna at Comments are warmly welcomed!

Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday – 11/17

8am – FAMILY RADIO – While traveling around town, tune-in to WXOJ 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA, from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. This week the winners of the Fids & Kamily Awards will be announced! [All ages] (Free)

9:30am – HISTORIC FOODS – There will be an open hearth cooking demonstration at the Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA. Learn how autumn affected the preparation and preservation of foods in historic menus. 413.775.7214 [Ages 6 & up] ($/Borrow a museum pass from your local library)

10am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR – At the Hartsbrook School in Hadley, MA, will be a Crafts Fair and Children’s Festival. Make crafts to give as gifts, be entertained and enjoy music, hayrides and a bonfire. 413.586.1908. [Families] (Free/$)

10am – NATURE CRAFTS – Make edible birdhouses at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, MA. 413.298.3926 [Families] ($$)

10pm – OUTDOOR ACTIVITY -Learn about numerous wild edibles found in our area at the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, MA. 413.584.3009 [Ages 4-12] (>$)

Noon – ZOOLOGY FOR KIDS – The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA, will be hosting a discovery program called “Creatures on the Move” every Saturday through 12/29. Kids can learn how fish, amphibians and other creatures move around. 413.443.7171 [Families] (Free with admission to museum)

Tico and the Golden Wings by Leo Lionni

2pm & 3pm – FAMILY THEATER – Picture Book Theater performs Tico and the Golden Wings at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts in Amherst, MA. [Families](>$, Borrow a museum pass from your local library)

7pm – FAMILY DANCE – There will be a Family Folk Dance at the First Congregational Church in Wiliamsburg, MA. Traditional folk dances to the music of Katherine and the Borstals. No partner or prior experience necessary. Refreshments. [Families] (Donation)

7pm – MOM’S NIGHT OUT – A relaxing, women-only evening is being offered at Union Station Restaurant in Northampton, MA, sponsored by MotherWoman. Desserts, cash bar, poetry, auction, and more. 413.586.5366 [Mothers] ($$)

Read the rest of this entry »

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