Area briefs: COVID reimbursements, Hike for Hunger, PVPA lottery and Holyoke’s membership in ‘Recovery Ready Workplace’

  • The main entrance to Smith College in Northampton. Gazette file photo

Published: 9/27/2022 10:59:39 AM
Modified: 9/27/2022 10:58:46 AM
Baystate, Smith College get FEMA reimbursement for COVID expenses

FEMA has awarded over $10 million to the state of Massachusetts to be passed through to Baystate Medical Center and Smith College to cover the cost for COVID-19 testing and supplies.

Baystate will get $5.5 million for the costs of purchasing personal protective equipment. The money will reimburse the medical center for the cost of N95 respirators, medical gloves, surgical masks, medical gowns, and face shields for safe hospital operations, and sanitizing supplies such as disposable wipes and sanitizing cloths, between August 2020 and March 2021.

Smith College will get $4.4 million in reimbursement for the 212,004 COVID-19 tests it conducted for students, faculty and staff between August 2020 and December 2021.

PVPA to hold lottery

SOUTH HADLEY — Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School will hold a special lottery on Monday, Oct. 17, at 4 p.m., to fill openings in grades 7, 10 and 11 for the 2022-2023 school year. The application deadline is Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. Applications are available at

Enrollment in PVPA is free and open to all Massachusetts students in grades 7-12 on a space available basis. Priority is given to students from Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties, as well as Brookfield, Petersham and Sturbridge. Application for this special lottery is open to students in grades 7, 10 and 11 only. The lottery is open to the public, and applicants will be notified of their standing by email within three to five days.

Applications for the 2023-2024 school year, open to all grades 7-11, will be accepted beginning Nov. 1.

Please contact PVPA at with any further questions.

Holyoke to become a ‘Recovery Ready Workplace’

HOLYOKE — MassHire Holyoke, in collaboration with the Hampden County Workforce Board, welcomes two new pledges to join the Recovery Ready Workplace initiative.

The city of Holyoke took the pledge on Tuesday, and the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department will sign on Wednesday.

The mission of the initiative is to create a culture of support for employers and employees who have been impacted by substance use. MassHire Holyoke’s team will help businesses build this culture through educational tools, resources, and ongoing support so they can establish an environment where people in recovery feel valued and people with addiction have the support they need to get better.

Employers interested in learning more about or becoming a Recovery Ready Workplace should contact Ramona Rivera-Reno, executive director of MassHire Holyoke’s Re-entry and Recovery Program, at

3rd Annual Hike for Hunger in Amherst

AMHERST — The Amherst Survival Center is hosting its 3rd annual Hike for Hunger throughout the month of October. Registration is open now and will remain open until Oct. 31 at

People can register as an individual or as part of a team and set their own hiking and fundraising goals. Starting Saturday, participants will head out on the trails wherever and whenever they’d like and invite family and friends to support their efforts by making a donation. Registration costs $25 and includes a Hike for Hunger 2022 T-shirt.

Hike for Hunger kicks off on Saturday with an event at the North Hadley Sugar Shack from 10-11 a.m. An optional 2-mile group hike will follow at Mount Warner up the street from the Sugar Shack. Other group hikes will be happening throughout October.

Proceeds from the event support the Amherst Survival Center’s programs including food pantry, community meals, fresh food recovery and distribution, grocery delivery, health clinic, community activities, and resource and referral services.

Lander-Grinspoon joins Jewish coalition on climate crisis

NORTHAMPTON — tHE Lander-Grinspoon Academy has joined a growing coalition of Jewish community organizations who recognize the existential threat and moral urgency of climate change and commit to taking action.

As a member of the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition, LGA has signed the Coalition Founding Statement, publicly articulating that collective climate action is necessary and that the Jewish community is responding. As well, as a coalition member, LGA will develop and release a Climate Action Plan annually, detailing climate actions taken to-date and setting strategic goals for the coming year, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of strategies and interventions, as well as multiplying impact in the areas of education, advocacy, and finance.

Hazon, the leading Jewish environmental organization, is convening the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition in partnership with its 20 founding partners representing national and international Jewish umbrella organizations.

The Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition publicly launched on Sept. 15, and is open to Jewish organizations everywhere. Interested parties are encouraged to visit to learn more. There is no cost to join the Coalition.

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