Tag Archives: Northampton

McGovern, Kennedy, Neal to join Western Mass. hunger march

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Hunger March to Support Families in Need

McGovern to Kick Off 7th Annual Monte’s March in Springfield!

Last Year’s March Raised a Record-Breaking $150,000 for Local Hunger Relief!

Next Monday, November 21, Congressman Jim McGovern will kick off the 7th annual “Monte’s March,” a 43-mile two-day walk as part of his anti-hunger push in Western Massachusetts.

Congressmen Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) and Richard Neal (MA-01) will be among those joining the event.

The march is aimed at helping to increase awareness about hunger in local communities and help Massachusetts families in need this thanksgiving.

“As we prepare for Thanksgiving, there are many Massachusetts families who are struggling just to put food on the table,” Congressman McGovern said. “To bring our communities together and raise awareness to help families in need, we’ll be kicking off the seventh annual Monte’s March, the longest-yet at 43 miles across Western Massachusetts. Hunger is something that touches families across the Commonwealth, but together, we can help to ensure that every family has access to the healthy meals they need this holiday season.”

Joining Congressman McGovern for the full 43 miles will be the founder of Monte’s March, WRSI The River radio host Monte Belmonte, as well as Andrew Morehouse, the Executive Director of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Also joining part of the march will be Congressmen Richard Neal and Joe Kennedy III; State Rep. Aaron Vega; State Rep-Elect Solomon Goldstein-Rose; students from Holyoke Community College, Greenfield Community College and The Greenfield Center School; and local mayors, and other community leaders.

This year’s hunger walk will be the longest yet at 43 miles, starting on Monday with stops in Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, and Northampton. The walk will finish on Tuesday with stops in Hadley, Amherst, Sunderland, and Greenfield.

OVERVIEW:

WHAT: Monte’s March, a 43-mile anti-hunger march across Western Massachusetts

WHEN: Monday 11/21 at 7:00AM

WHERE: March Starts at Friends of The Homeless. 755 Worthington St., Springfield

The march continues Monday with stops in Chicopee, Holyoke, and Northampton

On Tuesday 11/22 with stops in Hadley, Amherst, Sunderland, and ending in Greenfield

FULL SCHEDULE:

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21

o 7:00 am – Depart from Friends of The Homeless. 755 Worthington St. Springfield
o 8:30 am – Arrive at Chicopee City Limits
o 9:00 am – Arrive in Chicopee Falls
o 10:00 am – Arrive in Downtown Holyoke
o 11:00 am – 2:00 pm – Finish first day, walking down Northampton Street to Northampton
o 6:30 pm – Fundraising event at The Northampton Brewery, 11 Brewster Ct, Northampton
o Note: Throughout the day, the march will be joined by Holyoke Community College students

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22

o 6:00 am – Depart Northampton Office, 94 Pleasant Street.
o 7:00 am – Arrival at Route 9 in Hadley near Mi Tierra
o 8:00 am – Arrival at Whole Foods in Hadley
o 9:15 am – Arrival in Downtown Amherst
o 10:30 am – Arrival at Amherst Survival Center
o 12:00 pm – Arrival in Downtown Sunderland
o 1:15 pm – Arrival at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle for Lunch
o 2:30 pm Arrival at Route 5 & 10 north joined by students from Greenfield Community College and The Greenfield Center School
o 5:00 pm: Arrival in Greenfield
o 5:30 pm or 6:00 pm: Completion of march at Seymour The Pub, 5 Bank Row, Greenfield.

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Go, Haymarket Cafe of Northampton, go! Kudos to Peter and David Simpson!

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Congressman Jim McGovern Applauds Peter and David Simpson for Raising Wages for their Workers and Strengthening the Local Economy!
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the House floor yesterday, Congressman Jim McGovern applauded the recent decision of Haymarket Café, a Northampton restaurant, to move to a $15 per hour minimum wage for its workers.

Congressman McGovern praised the decision as the right thing to do for workers, the smart thing to do for its business, and a positive step for the Northampton economy and community.
 
Full Text of Jim’s Floor Speech Below:
 
“Today, I’m honored to share the story of the Haymarket Café, started by brothers Peter and David Simpson, in Northampton, Massachusetts.
 
“One of the surest signs of a vibrant local economy is a lively restaurant scene. You know a town or region is humming economically when you have a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. It’s a sign that people have enough money left over after paying the bills to spend on treating themselves and their families. It’s a strong indication that people feel secure in the direction of the economy.
 
“But for millions of low-wage workers across the country, the story is more complicated than that, and the picture is not at all pretty. For all the economic vibrancy associated with restaurant culture — and though restaurants employ almost 1 in 10 private sector workers — restaurant workers are among the worst-paid, worst-treated within the economy as a whole.
 
“While non-restaurant private sector workers make a median hourly wage of $18, restaurant workers earn a median hourly wage of $10, including tips. The results are predictable: more than 16 percent of restaurant workers live below the poverty line.
 
“And this picture is made even worse by how it is skewed along race and gender lines. The highest paid positions in restaurants tend to be held by men and people who are white, while the lowest paid positions are typically held by women and people of color. And at the bottom of the ladder are undocumented workers, who comprise over 15 percent of the restaurant workforce — more than twice the rate for non-restaurant sectors.
 
“The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are forward-thinking restaurant owners who are choosing the high road. Restaurants where conscious efforts are made to break down gender and ethnic divisions and that choose to pay a living wage with good benefits. And if you ask them, the owners of these establishments will tell you that they choose this path because it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do financially. They choose this path because it’s a solid business model that improves the chances of success in a highly competitive industry.
 
“I am proud to represent one of those restaurants in my district. The Haymarket Café, in Northampton, Massachusetts, has led the way for almost a quarter century in treating its employees with respect and paying them a living wage.
 
“I attended an event a couple of weeks ago at the Haymarket Café where the owner, Peter Simpson, announced that his restaurant was moving to a $15 per hour minimum wage and would be eliminating tips.
 
“Now, I’ve known Peter for a long time, and I wasn’t surprised that he would take such a step.. Peter opened the Haymarket with his brother, David, almost 25 years ago, and from the beginning they were committed to paying a fair wage and creating a positive work environment for their employees.
 
“But in talking to Peter, I realized that his decision — while it reflected his idealism — was rooted in hard-nosed business sense. You don’t survive and thrive for a quarter century in the highly-competitive restaurant industry, especially in a small, tight-knit community like Northampton, if your business model isn’t air tight. Every decision you make has to make sense financially in order to succeed and stay competitive.
 
“So the decision to go to a $15 per hour minimum wage and eliminate tips was not something Peter took lightly. He did his homework. He looked at other restaurants in other cities that’d made a similar move. He talked to all his employees. He worked closely with the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, which is leading the charge to better the lives of low-wage immigrant workers in Western Massachusetts.
 
“Eliminating tips allowed Peter to make the wages between better-paid waiters and less well-paid kitchen staff more equitable. It allowed his wait staff to earn a wage they could count on, rather than having to depend on the tipping whims of customers. It also gave him increased staffing flexibility—he could train all his staff to do all jobs so he could more easily shift people around when necessary. In committing to a $15 per hour minimum wage, Peter also increased staff loyalty, while decreasing turnover and training costs.
 
“As a result of Peter’s bold decision, the Haymarket Café has been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support. Staff and customers are equally enthusiastic, and business has jumped. This commitment to wage equity has shown once again to be a sound business strategy and that a business based on such principles can provide a decent living for its staff and contribute to the economic health of the community.
 
“The Haymarket Café is living proof, especially in an industry with such a dismal track record on wages, that paying a living wage is good for business. That a commitment to wage equity makes financial sense. The restaurant industry can and must do better. And I’m proud to say the Haymarket Café is leading the way.”