Orange uses $4K grant to hire intern focused on healthy food systems

  • Produce for sale at a local farmers’ market. Orange has used a nearly $4,000 grant to hire a summer intern focused on healthy food systems. Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 7/18/2022 2:53:34 PM
Modified: 7/18/2022 2:53:09 PM

ORANGE — The town has used a nearly $4,000 grant to hire a summer intern focused on healthy food systems.

Siobhan Davis, an Orange resident and a student at Clark University in Worcester, started an eight- to 10-week internship on July 5, according to Alec Wade, Orange’s community development director. Wade said Davis will work out of the Town Offices at 62 Cheney St. and collaborate with the network of food systems that was developed when the town partnered with Quabbin Food Connector, the Franklin County Community Meals Program and the Orange Farmers’ Market.

“We are absolutely ecstatic. This will be the first summer internship that the department has hosted,” Wade commented, noting that the town required local residency for this internship. “We’re just really excited.”

The $3,996 grant awarded to Orange is part of the Healthy Summer Youth Jobs Grant Program run by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

Wade explained Davis, who uses they/them pronouns, graduated from Ralph C. Mahar Regional School in 2021 and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in community, youth and education studies. Their internship will expire on Sept. 2, per the grant’s terms.

Wade said he learned of this grant money because the town was placed on a mailing list of the AG’s office in 2020 after receiving a grant to support small businesses. He mentioned Orange had wanted to provide an internship like this for a while, but had previously been unable to provide an intern with the attention they deserve.

“When we do internships,” Wade said, “we always want to make sure we can ... have a positive experience for both sides.”

The grant money is part of at least $262,000 being dispensed to 70 organizations across the state to fund health and wellness-focused summer jobs for young people. This is the eighth year the AG’s office is running the program funded with fair labor-related settlement money.

“For eight years, we’ve worked closely with inspiring organizations in every corner of the state to create safe, positive summer experiences for young people,” state Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. “These summer jobs provide Massachusetts teens with invaluable opportunities to challenge themselves, gain new skills and make a difference in their own communities by promoting healthy living.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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