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bankESB Sponsors Nuestras Raices’ Community Garden Project

EASTHAMPTON — Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, announced the bank’s sponsorship of Nuestras Raices’ Community Garden project in Holyoke.

Founded in 1992, Nuestras Raices started with one community garden. The organization had a goal of building cultural pride among Holyoke Latinos while addressing food-security issues, creating healthy eating opportunities and revitalizing neighborhoods.

Gardeners can grow whatever they want, and many take their family’s favorite vegetables into consideration. Aji dulces, a specialty kind of sweet pepper, is grown in many of the community gardens, as they are used in the traditional Puerto Rican dish of sofrito. The food grown in the gardens is typically used by the gardener’s family or extended family.

bankESB is sponsoring the purchase and installation of new signs at 12 community gardens throughout the city. “We are excited to participate in this unique, community-focused program that brings residents of Holyoke together in a positive way,” Sosik said.

Added Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, “bankESB is having an ever-increasing presence in Holyoke, driving the financing behind some of the largest projects in the city. We are looking forward to a mutual partnership for years to come, starting with their physical branch location.”

The new branch is planned on a lot currently owned by the city of Holyoke at the corner of Sargeant Street and Beech Street, adjacent to CVS and the newly built Holyoke Senior Center.

For many years, Holyoke has been in bankESB’s top 10 communities for deposits. The bank currently services almost 1,000 customers from Holyoke with $18 million in deposits and $28 million in loans. bankESB also has a long history of providing monetary contributions, sponsorships, and volunteers for important community events and projects like this one. Most notably, a recent $50,000 contribution was made to the Holyoke Public Library.

“bankESB is proud to continue our support of local organizations as part of our mission as a community bank,” Sosik said.

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