CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Innovative changes are coming to Fruit Fair, Chicopee’s oldest grocery store, thanks to a grant from the state government.

Governor Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll were at Fruit Fair in downtown Chicopee Thursday announcing this year’s Food Security Infrastructure grant recipients. Fruit Fair was awarded $500,000. The owners of Fruit Fair plan to use this money to build three greenhouses on the roof of the building to grow more fresh food for the community.

“We’ve done a lot of work here and it’s a wonderful community to serve and it’s a very rewarding feeling to be recognized for the work that we have done. It used to be a food desert, classified by the USDA, and such steps will help us be able to keep from going back to being a food desert and help an under-served community,” said Jared Newell, Co-owner of Fruit Farm.

Owners said they plan to grow produce and vegetables in the greenhouses year round. They hope to the project is complete by June of next year. Governor Healey said this year, 165 food security infrastructure grants were awarded, totaling $26 million. The purpose of these grants are to ensure equitable access to fresh food across the Commonwealth.

“In speaking to farmers over the past week, it’s clear that they need support now more than ever after being hit hard by extreme weather events from flooding to drought to late frost,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Our farmers are the backbone of Massachusetts’ food infrastructure, and it’s critical that we continue to make short and long-term investments through grants like these to help strengthen resiliency and enhance mitigation efforts.” 

“Our food system is highly localized. It is important to build a food network that nourishes our communities and sustains businesses and workers,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “With the recent flooding, more Massachusetts communities are experiencing food insecurity, making it even more imperative that we ensure food producers are given the resources they need to meet increased demand while also providing healthy food to residents.”

Other local businesses also received grant money include the following:

  • Adams Farm (Athol, MA): $84,365 
  • Agric Organics LLC (Wilbraham, MA): $148,325 
  • All Farmers, Inc. (Springfield, MA): $119,166  
  • Antonellis Farm LLC (Deerfield, MA): $500,000  
  • Berkshire Bounty (Great Barrington, MA): $67,371.89 
  • Bree-Z-Knoll Farm, LLC (Leyden, MA): $108,750 
  • CAVU Farms (Cheshire, MA): $223,170 
  • Coolidge Hill Farm (New Salem, MA): $55,649 
  • Crimson & Clover Farm (Florence, MA): $86,655  
  • Cultivating Solutions LLC dba Winter Moon Roots (Hadley, MA): $89,052 
  • Fairfields Dairy Farm LLC (Williamstown, MA): $217,300 
  • Fern Hill Farm (Buckland, MA): $68,751 
  • Fruit Fair Supermarket (Chicopee, MA): $500,000 
  • Gould Maple Farm Inc.  (Shelburne, MA): $225,423 
  • Ground Up LLC (Hadley, MA): $385,834 
  • Hart Farm (Conway, MA): $29,269 
  • Hilltown Community Development Corporation (Chesterfield, MA): $105,494 
  • Holiday Brook Farm (Dalton, MA): $31,914.90 
  • Just Roots, Inc. (Greenfield, MA): $146,645 
  • Laurenitis Farm (Sunderland, MA): $39,235  
  • Local Tortillas LLC, dba Mi Tierra Tortillas (Hadley, MA): $209,780 
  • Lombrico LLC (West Whately, MA): $19,456 
  • Many Forks Farm (Clarksburg, MA): $12,921 
  • Mayval Farm (Westhampton, MA): $81,761 
  • Morning Dew Farm (Worthington, MA): $280,271  
  • Northampton Survival Center (Northampton, MA): $72,363  
  • Park Hill Orchard (Easthampton, MA): $500,000 
  • Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op (Orange, MA): $64,852 
  • Red Shirt Farm (Lanesborough, MA): $344,049 
  • Reed Farm (Greenfield, MA): $285,777 
  • River Valley Farm (Leverett, MA):  $50,193 
  • Riverland Farm (Sunderland, MA): $57,027 
  • Survival Centers Inc., dba. Amherst Survival Center (North Amherst, MA):  $133,222 
  • Sweet Brook Beef Company (Williamstown, MA): $25,000  
  • Taft Farms (Great Barrington, MA): $75,714 
  • The Farm School (Athol, MA): $383,724 
  • WestMass ElderCare, Inc. (WMEC) (Holyoke, MA): $492,925
  • Whistling Meadow Farm LLC (South Deerfield, MA): $170,743  
  • Wildberry Acres Farm (Brookfield, MA): $60,632 

Local News

Alanna Flood is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Alanna on X @alannafloodnews and view her bio to see more of her work.