Food Access & Education at PSS

LaunchSpace and the Town of Athol are renovating the Pleasant Street School into a community food hub which overtime will include: community gardens, small-scale agriculture, food education, food serving training, meal pick-ups and/or deliveries, business incubation and other forms of community nutrition programs. Through this all, boost the local food system and connect local producers to all community members.

The PSS Food Access & Education initiative is an emerging program that complements the existing network and efforts to eliminate food insecurity in the North Quabbin region.

We are achieving this through the following equity-building activities and services:

  • Nutrition, agriculture, and food service education
  • Increasing local food access through partnership networks
  • Community food emergency and resilience

In 2023 community we launched a nutrition program in partnership with ARRSD Family & Community Center (high school pantry) and Valuing Our Children:

  • April & May: Wednesday Cooking Club with AHS students featuring nutrition education with Michelle and local guest chefs Nalini (Indian cuisine) & Elijah (Caribbean cuisine)
  • June: Pop-up Cooking Matters at the Store (healthy grocery shopping workshop)
  • July: Three-week Cooking Matters for Families course at Athol Library. Hands-on cooking and food skills education led by Michelle and local chef Andy Sussman.

In 2024 we are planning;

  • PSS building (kitchen) renovations are underway. We anticipate opening late 2024 to offer:
  • Community kitchen (commercial kitchen preparing meals for food programs)
  • On-site sustainable food production: one-acre farm plus community garden beds
  • Childcare facility
  • Innovative community-informed programs to increase access to locally sourced food e.g. meal kits with pre-portioned local ingredients, recipes, and guidance to prepare meals at home. It simplifies cooking by eliminating the need to shop for groceries and plan recipes, offering convenience and variety to busy individuals or families.

For more information about the program or to become a service partner, contact our Food Access Manager,
Michelle Gillman at