Area briefs: Northampton launches food drive; Five College Jazz Festival returns; Child Abuse Prevention Month events

A volunteer with the Northampton Survival Center. The city’s Department of Health and Human Services will launch a food drive starting Monday for the survival center.

A volunteer with the Northampton Survival Center. The city’s Department of Health and Human Services will launch a food drive starting Monday for the survival center. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 04-01-2024 7:01 AM

City to launch food drive on Monday

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton’s Department of Health and Human Services will launch a food drive starting Monday to mark National Public Health Week.

DHHS Commissioner Merridith O’Leary is putting out a call of action to help replenish much-needed resources at the Northampton Survival Center.

The center has been a staple in Hampshire County for resources and helping residents with food security since 1979.

During Public Health Week, DHHS wants to spread awareness that food insecurity impacts Northampton and Hampshire County, as in many other parts of the United States.

Donations can be dropped off at the following Northampton locations:

■City Hall, 210 Main St., second floor;

■Municipal Building, 212 Main St., third floor;

■Memorial Hall, 240 Main St.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Next 5-story building cleared to rise in downtown Amherst
‘Our hearts were shattered’: Moved by their work in Mexico soup kitchen, Northampton couple takes action
Hampshire County youth tapped to advise governor’s team
Amherst-Pelham schools look to address school absences with new plan
Northampton School Committee takes stand for budget increase during emotional meeting
Amherst regional superintendent candidate stresses inclusion, broad expertise

■DHHS, One Round House Plaza;

■Fire Department, 26 Carlon Dr., and 69 Maple St.;

■Police Department, 29 Center St.;

■Senior Center, 67 Conz St.;

■Forbes Library, 20 West St.;

■Lilly Library, 19 Meadow St., Florence

For a complete list of the most requested and popular items at the pantry go to Northampton Survival Center Food Drive or

Five College Jazz Festival returns April 5-6

AMHERST — The 2024 Five College Jazz Festival returns April 5-6, the first since 2019, and will feature performances from big bands, small combos, vocal ensembles, and improvising orchestras. These groups will feature the interpretive and improvisational skills of Five College students under the direction of the jazz faculty of the Five College campuses.

Hosted this year by the UMass Jazz and African American Music Studies program from the Department of Music and Dance, the bands will be performing at the Bezanson Recital Hall and at Tillis Performance Hall, both located in UMass’s Fine Arts Center. The Five College Jazz Festival is free and open to the public.

The festival will take place on Friday, April 5, from 6:30-10 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass Fine Arts Center.

On Saturday, April 6, the festival will be held from 8:55 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall, and from 2-2:30 p.m. in Tillis Performance Hall, UMass Fine Arts Center.

Performing will be Mount Holyoke Big Band, Mount Holyoke Vocal Jazz Ensemble, UMass Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Smith College Jazz Ensemble, UMass Jazz Lab Ensemble, UMass Graduate Quartet, Amherst College Combo Pinnacles, UMass Chapel Jazz Ensemble, UMass Chamber Jazz Ensembles, and UMass Jazz Ensemble I.

For more information, contact Matt Padula at

Events to mark Child Abuse Prevention month

To mark Child Abuse Prevention Month, 10 events will take place throughout the region this month.

The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Hampshire and Franklin counties and the North Quabbin and the Northwestern district attorney’s office are teaming up to host flag-raising ceremonies, luminaria, and an open house at events starting Monday, April 1, and running through April 11 in communities in the region.

This prevention month is held to acknowledge the vital role everyone in a community plays in working together to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Local events are listed below include:

■ Flag-raising ceremonies on Monday, April 1, are scheduled for 9 a.m. at Easthampton City Hall, 50 Payson Ave.; 10:30 a.m. at Northampton Police Department, 29 Center St.; and at 4:30 p.m. at the Amherst Town Common.

■ A flag-raising will take place in South Hadley on Wednesday, April, at 10:30 a.m. at the Police Department, 41 Bridge St.

■ Belchertown will raise a flag at 10:30 a.m. at Town Hall, 2 Jabish St.

■On Thursday, April 11, at 9 a.m., a proclamation will be read in Hadley at the old library across from Town Hall.

■ Also on April 11, a Luminaria Ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Childs Park, Northampton.