A seafood buying club is part of the Fresh and Healthy Food for All initiative in Columbia County, N.Y., which seeks to address area food insecurity via the accessibility of healthy ad fresh local foods. Photo courtesy Hawthorne Valley Association

Business Briefs: Seafood buying club addresses food access; computer efficiency workshop; Shakespeare & Company supports hurricane relief; Lenox Garden Club accepting grant applications

Seafood buying club addresses food access in Columbia County

Hudson, N.Y. — Hawthorne Valley and Long Table Harvest launched a seafood buying club in July to serve the community of Hudson. The buying club is one of the first outcomes of the ongoing Fresh and Healthy Food for All initiative, funded by a grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to address food access in Columbia County.

“To begin addressing food access in Hudson, we knew that efforts needed to be community-led,” said Rachel Schneider, director of the Hawthorne Valley Place-Based Learning Center and one of the project’s leaders. “One of the first steps we took was to form the Hudson Core Group to bring together land-standing Hudson residents to discuss the issues. We then spent a lot of time speaking with the people of Hudson and discovered that protein sources were low. Access to fresh fish is a particular issue for many communities so we decided to begin addressing food access in Hudson by creating the Seafood Buying Club.”

Through the program, customers can pre-order fresh seafood to pick up outside Bruno’s on the first and third Thursdays of each month. At pick-up times, walk up customers can also purchase fish. The program seeks to address affordability by utilizing tier pricing, allows customers to select the prices they can pay for the fish, and accept EBT and SNAP.

In the program’s first month of operation, five to eight families were served at each pick up, but the project coordinators anticipate that that number will increase. The club currently offers a selection of sustainably sourced Atlantic fish and hopes to add more varieties in the future along with vegetables, fruits and other proteins. The project’s leaders are researching how to expand the program to serve the rest of Columbia County as well, particularly through a mobile market.

For more information, contact Laura Webster at hudsonseafoodbuyingclub@gmail.com.


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Computer efficiency workshop for nonprofits

Jean Atwater-Williams. Photo courtesy Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires

Great Barrington — Jean Atwater-Williams will present the workshop “IT Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting” Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Berkshire Community College South County Center.

Participants will learn tips, tricks and shortcuts for using a computer quickly and efficiently, and will discover resources to make computing easier. Time will be allotted for questions and addressing individual computer issues. Atwater-Williams has over 30 years of business management and telecommunications experience. She founded BizTech Associates in 2001 to assist clients in selecting and implementing the right technologies to cost-effectively meet their needs.

The cost of the workshop is $25 for members of the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires and the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and $35 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, contact NPC Berkshires at (413) 441-9542 or liana@npcberkshires.org.


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Shakespeare & Company raises $4,775 for hurricane relief

Lenox — Shakespeare & Company held a benefit performance of “God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza Oct. 5 in order to help those impacted by recent hurricanes. More than $4,775 was raised and the proceeds were donated to the One America Appeal to support those effected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

The One America Appeal was launched by all five living former American Presidents to encourage their fellow citizens to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey, which inundated the Texas Gulf Coast with unprecedented flooding. The program was then expanded to include areas most affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria.


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Lenox Garden Club accepting grant applications

Lenox — The Lenox Garden Club is accepting applications for funds from public or private nonprofit organizations undertaking specific projects in and around Berkshire County that pertain to gardens, civic beautification, environmental restoration, conservation or education. Money to support the grants is raised from the club’s garden and house tour.

In 2016 the club awarded $10,000 to the Stockbridge Library for the replanting of its gardens; $3451.35 to Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for the implementation of a native plant entrance garden $500 to Pittsfield Beautiful for the continuation of its work beautifying downtown Pittsfield; $1,050 to Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation’s Sheep Hill to underwrite information for a proposed wetlands boardwalk; and $8,000 to Berkshire Botanical Garden for the renovation of its Center House.

Those interested in applying for funds may contact Margot Towl at gogo05@fairpoint.net for an application and instructions. The application deadline is Sunday, Dec. 31.