A food pantry serving the Hampshire County community

aka Northampton Survival Center   |   Northampton, MA   |


Dedicated to improving the quality of life for low-income individuals and families throughout Hampshire County by providing nutritious food and other resources in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Heidi Nortonsmith

Main address

265 Prospect St

Northampton, MA 01060 USA

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NTEE code info

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Food Pantry

The Northampton Survival Center, through its Goshen and Northampton locations, provides low-income residents of Hampshire County with nutritionally-balanced food once a month. Our program is a "choice” program, which means that clients select the exact foods they bring home every month.

In addition to picking up their food once a month, clients may also visit once a week in order to select breads and choose from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

During the summer months, the Northampton Survival Center’s Kids’ Summer Food Program provides eligible children with free food packages to help feed them breakfast and lunch every weekday for ten weeks during summer vacation. Children living in any of the 18 communities in our service area who receive free or subsidized meals through their school are eligible to receive this food.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Beginning in March 2013, a popular Fresh Dairy Program replaced powdered milk with fresh milk from Our Family Farms, a local dairy cooperative. For this effort we’ve secured 3-year funding from an anonymous family foundation, and have brokered an excellent deal with the local dairy farmers who are grateful for steady stream of income from this order of hundreds of half-gallons each week. Clients are thrilled because they all prefer fresh milk to powdered, and we know it supports area children in choosing to eat a nutritious breakfast of whole grain cereal and milk, rather than an easy-to-grab sugary alternative.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

During the month of November, the Northampton Survival Center distributes additional traditional Thanksgiving items such as potatoes, cranberry and squash to each client family when they come in for their regular package of groceries.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

The U-Pick Program at Abundance Farm is an amazing opportunity for our clients to pick their own vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the garden planted for sharing with the community at Northampton Survival Center. Abundance Farm is a collaborative initiative of Congregation B’nai Israel, Lander Grinspoon Academy, and the Northampton Survival Center.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Northampton Survival Center has a 44-year history of providing emergency food relief to its food-insecure neighbors. The Center is continually expanding and refining its offerings to adequately meet this important need. Without the Northampton Survival Center’s program, there would be a serious gap in emergency food services for most of Hampshire County, especially in the rural and very isolated Hilltown. By providing nutritious food to low-income clients who are struggling to feed themselves and their families, the Center is here for all community members in crisis. Over time, with regular, reliable access to nutritious food, many clients are able to stabilize their health and their lives, gaining the strength and ability to take other steps to become self-sufficient. With the Center’s help, clients are able to look for a new job, continue their studies in school, recover from injury or illness, look after dependents, and make other connections when referred to needed services like domestic abuse counseling, fuel assistance, or drug rehabilitation.

In response to the pandemic, we have adapted and expanded all aspects of our services to meet clients’ changing needs while prioritizing the safety and sustainability of our programs for clients, volunteers, and staff.

Details about how we have adapted include four new modes of food distribution, from our pantries in Northampton and in the Hilltowns:
• Drive-through pickup by clients in their cars
• Housing site deliveries to 14 low-income-, senior-, and disabled-housing sites
• Individual home deliveries to dozens of families quarantining at home or otherwise unable to come to the Center for food due to disability or lack of transportation.
• Curbside pickup which allows clients to choose their groceries through a new online store and reserve a time slot to come by and pick those up at our building (delivered to their car on site by a volunteer).

This past year we also developed new ways of engaging with and listening to clients across the divide of social distance, with the establishment of a new Client Advisory Committee as the most prominent example. The Center’s Client Advisory Committee meets monthly to explore ways of living out our mission in an atmosphere of dignity and respect for all. While sharing food and social time together, members provide ideas and input on new program directions, and plan initiatives to enhance the client experience and enrich the Survival Center community. Two members of the committee have also joined our Board of Directors, a trend we’re excited to see continue.

We are well-positioned to be able to grow our current programs with recent addition of two new staff members to help improve our curbside and delivery programs.

Everything about our pandemic-era food distribution process has been predicated on protecting our clients, volunteers, staff, and community donors and partners, through a combination of social distancing, mask-wearing, and other protective equipment. Since March 16, 2020, our food distribution in both Northampton and Goshen have remained outdoors with clients driving up to receive food in their cars. As schools closed and client numbers increased, we adapted and expanded our services in response the pandemic’s immediate effect on our clientele and operations. Needing to accommodate safe distancing inside for volunteers and staff, we relocated operations to nearby Jackson Street School. A newly-energized collaboration between the Northampton Survival Center, Grow Food Northampton, and Community Action Pioneer Valley enabled us to create a new food distribution system to meet the growing need under the safest possible conditions. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Grow Food Northampton delivers groceries to hundreds of families living in low-income housing complexes and senior-living facilities around the city. In the Hilltowns, our Goshen Pantry worked closely with the local Councils on Aging and other partners so that regular weekly distribution of food continued for isolated families in need.

During every visit, families receive an assortment of staples including grains, proteins, milk, vegetables, and fruits, as well as a rotating selection of specialty items like nuts, yogurt, fresh eggs, or fish, thereby maintaining our commitment to promote good health for our community members in need.

In August, we moved operations back to our Prospect Street location, keeping food distribution outside and restricting access to the building to a limited number of staff and volunteers. Before the colder, wetter weather arrived we made many modifications to our building – both inside and out – to successfully manage safe distribution to clients outside and social distanced workstations for volunteers inside.
In an effort to reach out to clients who haven’t visited the Center since the onset of the pandemic, our Program Coordinator has been calling families to check on their well-being and make sure they know the multiple ways they can get food from us. Many feel reassured about their safety in coming back to get food onsite while others are grateful that we can deliver their groceries to them by taxi.
Our client numbers have increased since March, especially new clients who lost jobs or had to close their business and need our help for the very first time. We have been providing more food, more often, and from more locations, than ever before. Funding from EFSP supports these efforts and strengthens our ability to remain flexible and responsive to the changing circumstances and community needs as they evolve. As both the pandemic and economic hardships continue, we will rely on help from funders like EFSP so we can remain prepared to meet the need of those who

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 04/18/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Anthony Scibelli

Anthony Scibelli

Ellen Frank

Michael Skillicorn

Brian Adams

Angela Combest

Lisa Downing

Josefina Rodriguez

Rick Katsanos

Rich Webber

Jo Ella Tarbutton-Springfield

Aurora Fields

Jessye Kass

Dane Kuttler

DeLea Mowatt

Diane Porcella

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/15/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/15/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.