Popular meal program on hold after staffing issues at Northampton Senior Center

Hampshire County

Thursday will be the final day when jail inmates plan and prepare the menu and food for Mary’s Bistro at the Northampton Senior Center.

Assistant Director Heather Kahillane said she and other staffers are stepping aside, and none of the remaining members of the center are “serve safe certified,” a health requirement for running the bistro.

“When we found out that Heather was not chosen as the assistant director, it was more than the bistro,” said Marlene Marrocco, former board member of Council on Aging. “I mean she runs quite a number of programs, initiatives over at the senior center, so it was just one of many initiatives that are going to be shutting down.”

Melinda Cady, assistant deputy superintendent at Hampshire County Jail, said there is a possibility the program could return.

The mayor’s office said they are confident the new director will be able to resume the program after she starts in late April.

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