Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mayor to Accept National Community Development Association Award

Mayor Alex B. Morse is pleased to announce that the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts has been selected as this year’s National Community Development Association (NCDA)- Region 1 winner of its Community Development Achievement Award. The Award honors communities which exemplify outstanding achievement in service to low and moderate income individuals and families. The City of Holyoke is being honored for its partnership with Providence Ministries Service Network.

The City of Holyoke, through its Office for Community Development, provides Providence Ministries with Community Development Block Grant funding on an annual basis to support Margaret’s Pantry- its emergency food pantry and Loreto House- its transitional housing program for men. In 2013, Providence Ministries began development of a culinary job training program known as foodWorks at Kate’s Kitchen. FoodWorks provides a twelve week culinary training program and Safe Serve Certification to individuals who otherwise may not have access to job skills training including those leaving incarceration, drug/alcohol rehabilitation, or experiencing chronic unemployment or homelessness. FoodWorks students prepare community meals served at Kate’s Kitchen, learn skills for entry into the job market including basic math, resume writing and interviewing and perform an internship at local businesses. Mayor Morse allocated $150,000.00 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the build-out of a commercial training kitchen in 2015 and $15,000.00 in Community Development Block Grant funds for scholarships to foodWorks students in 2016.

The Award will be presented on Friday October 14, 2016 at the NCDA Region 1’s New England Fall Conference in Portland, Maine. Mayor Morse will accept the Award on behalf of the City and Alicia M. Zoeller, Administrator of the Office for Community Development will give a brief presentation about the partnership.

“The City of Holyoke is at the forefront of innovative uses of the Community Development Block Grant Program to address many of our City’s biggest challenges. This program not only supports the community meals at Kate’s Kitchen but provides much needed job training and a proven track record of successful job placement to allow families to climb the economic ladder,” says Mayor Morse, “I am proud of the City’s support of Providence Ministries and the work of my staff in developing these key community partnerships to make Holyoke a great place to live, work, learn and play.”

Karen Blanchard, Executive Director states “On behalf of the Providence Ministries Service Network Board of Trustees, I'd like to acknowledge the tremendous support of not only the City of Holyoke and Mayor Alex B. Morse but also the Community Development Office for our foodWorks @ Kate's Kitchen program. We are thrilled that we have been chosen to be recipients of the 2016 NCDA Region 1 Achievement award, and honored that our program may be emulated in other parts of the country.

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