HATFIELD — The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts announced the successful sale of its Hatfield building and property to Myers Produce, a woman-owned regional produce distributor and trucking company offering farmer-focused distribution, freight, and warehousing services.
The strategic decision to sell the building marks a significant milestone for both businesses. The Food Bank will move to its new location at 25 Carew St., Chicopee, during the last week of August, and Myers Produce will move into its new Hatfield facility in October.
“We are thrilled that Myers Produce has purchased the Food Bank’s Hatfield building,” said Andrew Morehouse, executive director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. “The Food Bank board of directors decided that an extension of our mission is to sell our Hatfield facility to Myers Produce to help expand markets for local farmers and strengthen our region’s farm economy. The Food Bank relies heavily on local farmers for a large portion of the fresh produce it provides for free every year to households who otherwise would not be able to afford it.”
Myers Produce has a long-standing commitment to bolster access to regionally grown food and to support farmers in Western Mass. and Vermont. With this strategic move, Myers Produce is taking a significant step to expand the purchasing of food from local growers and producers and transporting and reselling it to food retailers throughout the region and beyond.
“We are excited to embark on this new chapter as we celebrate 10 years of operation,” said Annie Myers, owner of Myers Produce. “Our mission has always been to support our region’s agricultural communities by increasing farmers’ access to wholesale markets within the Northeast. This acquisition allows us to take our efforts to the next level. In addition to allowing for the expansion of our distribution and freight operations, this facility will enable us to offer short-term storage and cross-docking services to farmers, producers, distributors, and carriers throughout our region.”
Moving to Hatfield will generate employment opportunities and place Myers Produce close to farmlands, near highways, and at a central crossroads for serving growers, customers, and fellow distributors in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Both the Food Bank and Myers Produce are looking forward to sharing resources at their respective new facilities, including cross docking and temporary storage. This arrangement will facilitate Food Bank deliveries to its member food pantries and meal sites in Hampshire and Franklin counties. For Myers Produce, this arrangement will contribute to its current ‘donation transportation’ program, facilitating the free transportation of donated food to the Food Bank for distribution to the local community.
“The planning board voted unanimously to approve the Myers Produce project,” said Stephanie Slysz, Hatfield Planning Board chair. “We are sad to see a landmark organization such as the Food Bank go, and we wish them well. We’re thrilled to welcome Myers Produce, which is a great fit for the parcel, and for Hatfield, with their commitment to local agriculture and farms in our town and in the region.”
Foreseeing it was running out of space many years ago, the Food Bank purchased 16.5 acres of vacant land in the Chicopee River Business Park in 2020. In 2021, it launched a successful, $26 million capital campaign to raise funds to build a larger facility, with support from individual and business donors, state and federal governments, and volunteers. In 2022, construction began on its new distribution center and headquarters, which is nearing completion.