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MaryEllen Meehan of the Williamstown Farmers Market, Netse Lytle of Wild Oats, and Anne Hogeland of the Williamstown Farmers Market.

Wild Oats Donates to Williamstown Farmers Market's Initiative

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Wild Oats Market recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Round Up For Change program with a $3,353.57 donation to the Williamstown Farmers Market's Community Essentials Initiative.
 
The program allows customers to round up their total purchase amounts at checkout to benefit a local non-profit serving the community. One hundred percent of the funds collected go directly to that month's featured partner.
 
Since initiating the program in June 2020, Wild Oats has donated more than $38,000 to 13 different organizations.
 
"Our co-op has always been focused on keeping money here in our community through relationships with local farmers, artisans and businesses," said marketing and owner-relations manager Scott Menhinick. "But Round Up For Change allows us to also interact with, and directly benefit, so many other essential organizations serving the Berkshires."
 
Past recipients include Berkshire Helping Hands, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Hoosic River Watershed Association, Office of Veteran Services, ROOTS Teen Center, the Brien Center and Williamstown Youth Center, in addition to those helping their neighbors overcome food insecurity issues, such as the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry, Berkshire Food Project, Community Bible Church Food Pantry and Hoosac Harvest.
 
"It's amazing that such a simple idea can generate such a positive impact on so many people living here in Williamstown, North Adams and other nearby towns," said general manager Netse Lytle. "Our partner organizations express an incredible amount of gratitude for this extra funding source and our guests often tell me how much they appreciate this easy and inexpensive way to make such a tangible difference here in our community."
 
Throughout the month of July, everyone shopping at Wild Oats has the opportunity to round up at the register to support Williamstown Rural Lands, a land conservation trust that conserves and promotes the forests, fields, farms and natural habitats of our region for community use and the benefit of future generations. More information is available here.

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Williamstown Planning Board Appoints Master Plan Steering Committee

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board on Tuesday appointed nine residents to serve on the steering committee to draft the town's updated master plan.
 
By a unanimous vote, the board approved a slate of nine candidates selected by members Peter Beck and Stephanie Boyd, who will represent the elected board on the steering committee. That panel is expected to work over the next 18 months to update the planning document last drafted in 2002.
 
Approved for inclusion on the Master Plan Steering Committee on Tuesday were: Justin Adkins, Susan Briggs, Melissa Cragg, Don Dubendorf, Sarah Gardner, Daniel Gura, Susan Puddester, Tanja Srebotnjak and Huff Templeton.
 
"With Peter and I, that makes 11 members," Boyd said. In a meeting telecast on the town's community access television station, Willinet. "A couple of months ago, we said we'd aim for eight to 12. This is on the higher end of that.
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