May 18, 2020— During this time of mass unemployment, food insecurity and financial hardship the Haymarket is reopening with an expanded Common Account program. The account has been successful in providing meals for over 3 years now. Just last year we served over 4,500 meals, 88% of which was covered by our customers donating to the Common Account fund. We are augmenting this model to meet the precariousness of the times we are living in. We will be opening as a community kitchen where the meals will be on a donation basis only. For those folks in need there will be no charge for food. In addition, we will also be expanding this model beyond the contours of the Haymarket, working with other organizations to help address food insecurity in our community.
In collaboration with ServiceNet and a community grant from the Northampton Recovery Center, the Haymarket is providing breakfast for about 50 people on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the Northampton Emergency High School Homeless Shelter. In addition, in partnership with the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and Grow Food Northampton we are providing tamales and pupusas for a weekly food distribution to area communities. One is here in Northampton and the other in Springfield. This collaboration provides meals to over 100 predominantly immigrant farmworkers and restaurant workers who have either no work or drastically reduced hours.
At the cafe we have a new online store where customers can place food orders. There you will find the price is set at free and you can then add a donation to what fits your means. However, coffee, juice and pastries as usual will have fixed prices. You can also order your meals in person which will happen at our back entrance. How we approach in person ordering will be in compliance with the Northampton Public Health department policies, with social distancing and safety being the priority.
We are grateful to have the opportunity to be involved with these ways, and look forward to expanding those possibilities. If you feel like you would like to help with the food costs for these projects we will be looking for donors to sustain that, either on a monthly or a one time basis. Please reach out to us, or feel free to donate to the Common Account on the website.
We want to thank all of you for your encouragement and support over the years as well as over these last two difficult months. Your confidence in us has made us feel it is possible to reopen in this way, with a broader attention to community. We thank you and look forward to seeing you all again soon.