Representative John Scibak, a close friend and colleague of Peter Kocot, filed the amendments that the house approved this week.
Kocot represented the 1st Hampshire District since 2002. The House seat left vacant by the death of state Representative Peter Kocot, has also left residents in Hatfield, Northampton, Southampton, Westhampton and Montgomery without representation.
Michael Skillicorn, Director of Programs at Grow Food Northampton told 22News, “And we’re so thankful to the late Rep. Peter Kocot and rep. Scibak.”
This week, the House approved 3 amendments, totaling $225,000. The Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness was allocated $125,000, which will be disbursed among its 45 organizations.
The second amendment allocates $50,000 for “Grow Food Northampton” to operate a pilot program to educate elementary school-aged children on the importance on organic gardening.
“So we bring about a 1000 kids out to the farm here on field trips, in the fall and in the spring, so that they can get their hands dirty and see where there food is grown. And in the winter we go into the classrooms, where we have cooking workshops,” said Skillicorn.
“Grow Food Northampton” sits on a 120 acre farm. The money will allow the 6-year-old nonprofit, to expand their program.
The third amendment directs $50,000 to the Cancer Connection to support programs for people living with cancer.
Representative Kocot passed away in February after he lost his battle with cancer.
The House plans to also honor Representative Kocot by naming his health care after him.