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COVID-19 community updates

Published: 3/24/2020 8:12:58 PM

The TikkunOlam Committee of the Jewish Community of Amherst is sponsoring a collection effort to help both people in need of food and area restaurants. Donations will support the Amherst Survival Center, Not Bread Alone and Craig’s Doors.

These agencies will use the money collected to purchase take-out food from area restaurants and then distribute that to their clients, supporting small businesses while responding to needs of vulnerable citizens. The Amherst Board of Health has trained local restaurants in safe food preparation procedures for the current situation. Some of the funds collected will be used to purchase take-out food for JCA members in need of similar support.

Click to, then to payments and donations. After you put in your personal information on this page, scroll down to the box marked “Other Designation” which you will find under the box “Please direct my donation to” – and type in your other designation as $$ Food.

If you have any questions, please call Judith Souweine 413-256-0493 or send an email to

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District launched the Amherst Area Tip Jar. First established in Pittsburgh, this allows people to support local service industry staff and businesses. It allows you to send a “tip” to your favorite business and they will share it with their staff – bartenders, servers, kitchen staff, stylists, aestheticians, mechanics, etc. The Amherst Area Tip Jar offers an option for these businesses and individuals to post their Venmo or Paypal information so that customers, family members, neighbors, and community members, near and far, can continue to support them using this open source concept; a way to maximize social distancing while supporting these workers and small businesses. The virtual tip jar is available at

Please email Claudia Pazmany, executive director, for any inquiries at or Gabrielle Gould at

AT&T is waiving domestic wireless voice and data overage fees for customers nationwide, retroactively to March 13. Additionally, they will not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Further information, including expansion of low-cost home broadband service, is available on their COVID-19 customer page:

Interlink Publishing, 46 Crosby St., Northampton, has books available to order online at, and reminds us that independent booksellers and publishers need our support now more than ever before. They provide free delivery and shipment within 24 hours.

Multi-Arts, a nonprofit arts program for children ages 4 to 12, based in Amherst, has designed a project that will engage children in a profound and meaningful way. Project Earth is a play inspired by Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot,” set to premiere Summer 2020, and will have elements of live music, narration, fantastical sets and props.

Children under 18 may watch the video at, reflect on Sagan’s words, and create art/poetry/writing inspired by it. The deadline for submissions is April 7, and winners will have their ideas incorporated into the final script. Prizes also include up to $300 for applicants 13-18 years old, and a free day at Multi-Arts for ages 4-12. Please send submissions to or call 413-584-7951 for more information.

Three Holyoke Mall tenants are able to remain open during COVID-19 municipal order restrictions. The majority of Holyoke Mall shops, department stores, restaurants and entertainment destinations remain closed in accordance with the order of the City of Holyoke. Target, Uno Pizzeria & Grill, and Best Buy have dedicated exterior entrances and may remain open following required protocols. Best Buy reopened its doors after the city of Holyoke issued an update to the original order.

Target will remain open with reduced store hours: Monday - Sunday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesdays Target is designating the first hour of shopping for older adults and those who have compromised immune systems. Uno Pizzeria & Grill will be open for take-out only. Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Best Buy will be open for online curbside pick-up only. Monday - Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Please visit Holyoke Mall’s Facebook page or website,, for updates.

Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery, 172 Hockanum Road, Hadley, is open daily until 4 p.m. with takeout service only. Barstow’s is equipped with a drive thru for easy, call ahead pick up of lunch, breakfast, baked goods, ice cream, local grocery items, milk, cheese, eggs, beef, and prepared foods to go. You may reach them at 413-586-2142.

The Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut St., Holyoke, will be closed until further notice due to recent updates regarding COVID-19 from the Center for Disease Control and state and local emergency announcements.

Patrons are encouraged to use online services. Visit, click HPL Academy tab for tutorials on how to access these resources.

Library items may be returned through the outside book drop at any time. All items that are checked out have new due dates of May 1.

Westover Air Reserve Base has restricted access as part of the local, regional and nation-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 23.

To afford maximum protection and safety of assigned Westover members, only operational mission essential personnel will be allowed onto base. Those not on a predetermined list, including retirees, will be turned away at the gate.

Deadline for The Valley Press Club Scholarships for students who are interested in pursuing a career in journalism, has been extended to Friday, April 17.

Scholarships available are:

The Republican Scholarship, funded by The Republican, for students living within the newspaper’s circulation area who are planning careers in print journalism.

The 22News Scholarship, funded by WWLP-22News, for students planning careers in broadcast journalism.

The Edward J. Malley Jr. Memorial Scholarship, established in memory of a chief photographer for the Springfield Newspapers, for students planning careers in photojournalism.

The Rhonda Swan Memorial Scholarship, established in memory of the award-winning journalist, editor and author, for students who are underrepresented, in the Springfield area, planning careers in journalism.

The Al Jaffe Scholarship, funded by Mr. Jaffe, the Valley Press Club’s first scholarship recipient in 1964, who retired in 2015 as vice president of talent negotiation and production recruitment at ESPN, for students planning careers in broadcast journalism or sports journalism.

Scholarship applications are available at Applications may be sent by mail to Noreen Tassinari, VPC Scholarship Chair, Eastern States Exposition, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield, MA 01089 or electronically to

The Valley Press Club consists of active and retired journalists and public relations professionals from corporate and nonprofit organizations.

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