Home Posts tagged Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation
Daily News

AGAWAM — The Starlight Program, a signature book-gifting program of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF), delivers more than 20,000 books each year to 70 preschools in eight Western Mass. communities, including Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke.

Mindful of their transformative power, philanthropist Harold Grinspoon wants every child to have access to books and develop a love of reading. “It’s my hope that an early love of reading will inspire a lifelong habit,” he said.

Children receive four high-quality books, delivered directly to preschools in fall and spring; the most recent selections were sent to schools in early November. Teachers typically read the books aloud and carry out creative activities. Then they present the books to each preschooler to bring home.

Commenting on the gifting moment, Literacy Coordinator Susan Kazeroid of West Springfield Public Schools said, “the excitement on the children’s faces was priceless.”

Gratified by Starlight’s success, the Grinspoon Foundation intends to maintain the model of giving four books a year by regularly securing large quantities of carefully reviewed titles from established publishers.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to get books into the littlest hands,” said Nikki Burnett, executive director of Educare in Springfield.

For Grinspoon, the dream of putting books into children’s hands goes far beyond Western Mass. He is the founder of the PJ Library, an award-winning, international program that gifts Jewish children’s books to more than 680,000 children and their families monthly in 37 countries.

Daily News

AGAWAM — When the extent of the mid-July flood devastation on local farms in the Connecticut River Valley became evident, philanthropist Harold Grinspoon swiftly pledged $50,000 toward their relief. Joined by PeoplesBank, Chick and Audrey Taylor, and others, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation has now distributed flood-relief checks to 50 farmers impacted by the floods.

“Farmers are such wonderful folks,” Grinspoon said. “I appreciate what they’ve always contributed to the life and health of our region, and want to do my small part in supporting them through this incredibly trying time. I’m pleased to add my efforts to those of other philanthropists and institutions that have also stepped forward. Together, we can help Massachusetts farmers get back on their feet.”

Matt Bannister, senior vice president at PeoplesBank, added that, “in times of great need, it is comforting to see neighbors come together with a strong sense of community to do the right thing. Our region stands on the shoulders of our local farming community, and to see them in such need is heartbreaking. We applaud the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation for doing so much, so quickly, to help so many. We’re proud to play even a small part in their efforts.”

Focusing on the nearly 300 farms in the Local Farmer Awards network, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation requested and then responded to farmers describing their flood-related losses. On Aug. 1, checks of up to $3,000 from the Local Farmer Awards Emergency Flood Relief Fund were in the mail to farmers impacted by the floods. This relief is the first of other significant private and public funds that will be made available to farmers in the coming weeks.

“We are so thankful to be a part of this collaborative effort to help farmers during this extremely challenging time,” said Cari Carpenter, director of the Local Farmer Awards. “All of us involved with farmers at the Grinspoon Charitable Foundation believed that getting some money in their hands quickly would be helpful to them.”

Through the Local Farmer Awards, now in its ninth year, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, with lead partners Big Y and the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture, plus 12 other community funders, has invested $1,286,000 to support 572 infrastructure projects related to planting, growing, harvesting, and processing. In early 2024, farmers in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties can look forward to invitations to apply for these annual awards of up to $2,500.

Daily News

Farmers in Western Massachusetts are invited to apply for Local Farmer Awards of up to $2,500. These awards are for capital/infrastructure improvement projects related to growing, harvesting, and processing that will help farms compete in the marketplace.  The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF), in partnership with Big Y and with the support of other funders, is entering the eighth year of the awards program which has helped more than 225 farmers carry out a total of 400 projects.  


The deadline for applying is Jan. 31, 2022. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the website for more information www.farmerawards.org


Some examples of how the awards have been used include a commercial egg washer, irrigation systems, shade cloth for greenhouse, hi-tensile fencing for rotational grazing, feed wagon, and maple cream machine.


“Farmers don’t typically ask for help,” philanthropist and project founder Harold Grinspoon noted. “They are genuinely appreciative of these awards and use the money in creative ways for projects to help their businesses.”  


To be eligible, farms must have gross sales of $10,000 or above and either be a member of Berkshire Grown or Community Involves in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) or reside in one the four counties of Western Massachusetts.