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Berkshire Baby Box parents and volunteers with State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli

CHP Now Leads Berkshire Baby Box Program

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A Berkshire Baby Box baby

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Baby Box founder Hinda Bodinger passed off the new parent outreach program to Community Health Programs

As of Jan. 1, CHP will run the Baby Box program. The transition comes after distribution of more than 1,000 baby boxes to Berkshire families over the past five years.
 
Bodinger said Berkshire Baby Box's education program, including distribution of safe-sleep baby boxes for infants, has outgrown its volunteer beginnings. Bodinger's wish is for the program to have an administrative home with more robust family resources.
 
"This is an exciting growth step for Berkshire Baby Box," Bodinger said. "With CHP taking over this all-county initiative, we can realize our vision that Berkshire Baby Boxes would become an anticipated and treasured rite of passage for new families in the Berkshires. CHP can also offer additional pathways to more services for expectant parents."
 
CHP's Family Services team has been a steady partner of Berkshire Baby Box, and the program is changing hands with a full supply of safe sleep boxes for babies and infant supplies. Even during COVID-19, the program has carried on virtually.
 
Inspired by a family support movement with its roots in Finland, Berkshire Baby Box tackles the challenges of rural health care, the unique needs of immigrant and low-income families and raises awareness of infant sleep safety. The Berkshire Baby Box and its programs are available to all new moms and babies in the county, regardless of their income.
 
"Under the best of circumstances, having a new baby can be a challenging and very often isolating experience, and especially during this pandemic," Michelle Derr, director of CHP Family Services said. "We are so impressed with what Hinda has done to establish this great program for families around Berkshire County, and we are honored to take over going forward."
 
The Berkshire Baby Box transition is already under way, with programming and outreach efforts getting organized for 2021 with new parents.
 
For information, call CHP Family Services, (413) 528-0457.

Tags: CHP,   

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Great Barrington Secures $5 million Bond Issue

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.— The Town of Great Barrington's AAA bond rating has helped secure an interest rate of .979 percent on a $4,990,000 bond. 

The 20-year bond is for the financing of various capital projects.
 
According to a press release, S & P Global Ratings, a municipal bond credit rating agency, attributed the town's AAA bond rating -- the highest attainable—to the town's strong economy, management, financial policies and practices, strong liquidity, as well as its strong debt and contingent liability profile.
 
Town Treasurer Karen Fink and Finance Director Susan Carmel ushered the bidding process through to completion.
 
"Because the town is able to maintain its AAA bond rating in a pandemic, we had seven financial institutions bid on our bond," Carmel said. "It was very competitive, and the town is very pleased with the below 1% interest rate."
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