Big Y Again Backs Local Farmer Awards
Big Y Foods Inc. was once more a major sponsor of the Local Farmer Awards, now celebrating its fifth year. Funded by a group of philanthropic leaders and businesses, the awards recently gave $142,500 in amounts up to $2,500 to 62 farmers in western Massachusetts and eastern New York for materials and equipment to make much-needed infrastructure improvements.
“Here in western Massachusetts, we are fortunate to have so many farming families who remain committed to their important work in our region,” noted Big Y President and CEO Charlie D’Amour. “At Big Y, we are proud to continue our over 80-year tradition of supporting local farmers and supplying the fruits of their labor to our own customers every day. By partnering with the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, we are providing one more way to help our local growers to thrive in our community.”
As well as Big Y and the Agawam, Mass.-based foundation, funders of the awards were Ann & Steve Davis, Friendly’s, HP Hood LLC, Farm Credit East, PeoplesBank, Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place, Baystate Health and, new in 2019, Eastern States Exposition.
Fifty-three percent of this year’s winners are farms that have been in business for fewer than 10 years, with 25 percent farming for five or fewer years, but Clarkdale Fruit Farms, of Deerfield, Mass., has been around for more than a century. See the attached files for all of the winners.
The awards have funded nearly 250 farm infrastructure improvement projects since 2015.
One of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y operates 80 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, comprising 70 supermarkets, 40 pharmacies, Fresh Acres Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors, and nine Big Y Express gas and convenience locations, with more than 11,000 employees. The company is No. 36 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.