CHICOPEE – When it comes to the Chicopee Farmers Market, Nicole C. Baltazar particularly appreciates not only the produce, but also the sense of community, health awareness, joy and fun that the vendors and the team of the Valley Opportunity Council project bring.
She is Deputy Director of Energy Programs at the Valley Opportunity Council and Market Supervisor. “The Valley Opportunity Council Inc. (Marketplace Sponsor) is dedicated to ending poverty by providing the opportunity for our low and middle income neighbours, families and friends in the Greater Hampden County area to gain greater greater independence and a better quality of life. life,” she says.
The Farmer’s Market is open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Chicopee Street at the “Y” in Willimansett, under the Route 391 overpass on the Westside, rain or shine. The market will run until September 14, bringing the community together to focus on health and nutrition.
There will be community resources and activities throughout the season during the Farmers Market, including entertainment, nutritional services, gardening tips and access to all Valley Opportunity Council services.
There are usually over 15 vendors at the Farmer’s Market, all offering a variety of fresh and locally grown produce including plants, vegetables, fruits, jams, baked goods, maple syrup, honey, eggs and herbs. Vendors also have handicrafts, jewelry, and candles for sale.
“I think when you buy local you support your neighbors in the community,” Baltazar said. “I think it’s so much healthier for you to get fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers. When you buy local, you’re also helping to create jobs and, in turn, building a stronger, healthier community. healthy.
Special events throughout the season will include a back-to-school event on August 24 and a Corn Fest on August 31.
For the Christmas event in July, “shop with us and feel the holiday cheer,” Baltazar said. There will be Christmas-themed music and raffles.
During the start of the school year, brand new backpacks and school supplies were donated to be distributed to those in need. “We look forward to being able to do this again for our community, thankfully thanks to our generous donors,” she added.
At Corn Fest, there will be corn on the cob, music and raffles.
“These events bring joy and lots of entertainment; it’s something for everyone to look forward to,” Baltazar said. “We like to host these themed events to keep things fun and exciting for our community.”
The Valley Opportunity Council, she said, “prides itself in successfully operating the Chicopee Farmers’ Market for over 20 years with over 2,500 visitors each summer.”
The Chicopee Farmers Market accepts cash, SNAP, HIP, WIC, and senior coupons.
“The Chicopee Farmers Market is important to the community as we strive to provide healthy options to everyone who gathers here. The Farmer’s Market is a great way to also bring a sense of camaraderie with others through sharing common interests and goals to bring the community together and be healthy,” Baltazar said. “The purpose of the Valley Opportunity Council and the mission of the Chicopee Farmers’ Market is dedicated to providing healthy produce from local vendors at accessible prices in a place where the community comes together.”
The Valley Opportunity Council is Western Massachusetts’ largest and most diverse community action agency, with an annual budget of $45 million. With this federal designation, the VOC has established a powerful network of supportive and collaborative services aimed at encouraging community members to actively achieve self-reliance for themselves and their families. VOC employs over 250 people and has 150 local suppliers, representing a significant economic investment in the community.
For more information on the Chicopee Farmer’s Market, contact Nicole Baltazar at [email protected] or 413-552-1545, ext. 406.