CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – MassDevelopment issued a $9.5 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Inc. for its new headquarters in Chicopee.

The Food Bank currently operates from a 30,000 square-foot facility in Hatfield since 1986. The organization plans to relocate into a new 63,000 square-foot facility on Carew Street in the Chicopee River Business Park in the summer of 2023. The bond purchased by PeoplesBank will provide a portion of funds to The Food Bank for the new building to increase its capacity to serve people with food insecurity.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to working with nonprofits like The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to end food insecurity across the Commonwealth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “We’re pleased that the City of Chicopee and The Food Bank were able to strategically utilize state funding sources, such as the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and MassDevelopment’s tax-exempt financing, in order to advance a project that will make a profound difference in the lives of people across western Massachusetts.”

“More residents of western Massachusetts will soon be able to access nutritious food and supportive services with the construction of this bigger, modern food bank,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment is proud to deliver tax-exempt financing to help The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts fulfill its mission of addressing food insecurity and empowering people to live healthy lives.”

“This is a great project to be a part of,” said PeoplesBank First Vice President of Commercial Banking Matthew Krokov. “The Food Bank plays a vital role in alleviating food insecurities in our region and this investment in Food Bank’s future home will help provide better access for individuals in our community.”

“We are excited the Food Bank of Western Mass has chosen the Chicopee Business Park to relocate their operations and headquarters,” said Chicopee Mayor John Vieau. “I can think of no better place in terms of access, efficiency and accessibility than right here in Chicopee at the crossroads of New England. Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration, MassDevelopment and our local delegation for recognizing the need as we all proudly support efforts to combat food insecurity in Western Massachusetts.”

“With severe space constraints at our current facility, forcing us to turn away food donations, this critically-important financing enables us not a moment too soon to build our future home and move into it,” said The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Executive Director Andrew Morehouse.

The Food Bank is a nonprofit organization feeding neighbors in need through food pantries, meal sites, and shelters in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. They have provided food to more than 103,000 people on a monthly basis in western Massachusetts.